Inconsistency as an interactional problem: A lesson from political rhetoric

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The classical theory of cognitive dissonance suggests that when two related cognitions are mutually inconsistent, one of them will change to restore consistency. However, Billig suggests that inconsistency is primarily an interactional problem between subjects and not a cognitive problem within a subject. In the current paper, we adopt Billig's rhetorical approach to inconsistency and study inconsistency as an interactional problem in the context of political rhetoric. More specifically, we use Action-Implicative Discourse Analysis to identify the discursive strategies the former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, used to cope with the inconsistency between his national ideology and his contradictory behavior during his short term in office.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-267
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Psycholinguistic Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 May 2003


  • Action Implicative DA
  • Cognitive dissonance
  • Discourse analysis
  • Inconsistency
  • Interactional problem
  • Political rhetoric
  • Verbal interaction


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