And although creative tension and cognitive dissonance are not identical, Tompkins and Lawley claim that our mental processes for each are very similar.
“When the way the world is, and the way we expect or want it to be are different, a ‘cognitive dissonance’ and an internal tension result,” they explain.
“Both creative tension and cognitive dissonance demand resolution. Creative tension pushes us to create something new, whereas cognitive dissonance pulls us to find ways to maintain our existing views and beliefs.
BTW I believe the words “pushing” & “pulling” should be swapped, so that cognitive dissonance feels like something is pushing you (forcing you) to resolve something immediately (like someone micromanaging you over your shoulder) whereas creative tension feels more like an attractive possibility of something new out there pulling you (or gravitating you) towards it.