Lecture17 - Social Psychology II Justifying our Actions...

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Unformatted text preview: Social Psychology II: Justifying our Actions Lecture 17 4/12/04 Movie clips Raising Arizona Friends Why? Those who signed the poster AND were made conscious of how long they showered Took the shortest showers Hypocrisy: Their attitudes and actions don’t coincide TENSION Enter theory… Cognitive Dissonance (Memory aid: “Thoughts out of tune”) State of tension when an individual holds 2 cognitions (attitudes, beliefs, opinions) that are inconsistent. confusion, upset, nervous/anxious physiology of our bodies changes: HR, BP, sweaty hands Cognitive Dissonance E.g. Smoking with the Surgeon General Cognition A: “I smoke cigarettes” Cognition B: “Smoking causes Cancer” Does this apply to you? Have you ever made a difficult decision? Have you ever had to say something contrary to your attitudes or opinions? Have you ever been persuaded to change an attitude you thought was near & dear to you? What to do with an unpleasant feeling Anyone hungry? Cognitive discomfort // Physiological discomfort Tension Reduction Give up smoking? Not so fast…man is not so rational Motivated to BELIEVE we’re right rather than BE right A Method To Our Madness Nonsensical behavior justify our actions, beliefs and feelings 2. Make thought Consonant 3. Make light of evidence 4. I do not smoke Inconclusive evidence Add consonant Cognitions May lead a shorter life, but more enjoyable one Reducing Dissonance after binging The End of the World… On a particular date… redemption What happens upon failure of prophecy? Disbanding in disillusion? Strengthening of conviction Mrs. Keech & Seekers of Truth Spiritual messages from the “Guardians” “automatic writing” = belief system Great impending disaster! A flood would engulf the world But, all who believed… Remove all metal, memorize passwords: Spacemen would arrive “I left my hat at home”; “I am my own porter” Rid personal belongings, quit jobs Note: 2 significant observations 1. HIGH Commitment Despite opposition of friends, family… 2. Inaction No recruitment efforts Media turned away Proceedings burned Passwords & secret signs The eve of the flood Spaceship to arrive at midnight… “The last 10 minutes…” Proselytizing the Future 1. “The little group, sitting alone all night long, had spread so much light that God had saved the world from destruction” 3. Contact the press! Secrecy and publicity policies gone awry When prophecy fails… When truth is undercut by physical proof, there’s only one way out: SOCIAL PROOF The greater the number of people who find an idea correct, the more an individual will perceive the idea to be correct. Lab Evidence Experiment on “performance” 1 Wooden board w/ 48 square pegs Turn each: 1/4in to L 1/4in to R 1/4in to L 1/4in to R 2 30 minutes later… a new board 12 spools of thread Take all 12 off Put them back on Take them off Put back on More than meets the eye… You were in control group! HELP! “confederate” is not here!!! Could you do it, please? Others being told experiment is “fun and exciting” 1$ vs. 20$ Know experiment was dull, but will you rave about it? Attitude Change Do Big rewards produce Big change? P’s in “no lie” admitted task was boring For $20, P’s justified lie- said it was pretty boring too But, for $1, P’s change attitude to reduce dissonance 25 20 15 10 5 0 No lie $20 lie $1 lie Shocking Results Common sense on it’s head Motivated to reduce tension, we alter our attitudes to justify our suffering Wasted effort, difficult decisions, attitude discrepant behavior How much do you like school now? Condom Study (Aronson, 1994) Young people should wear condoms during sex A. Compose arguments B. AND recite in front of video camera Audience = high school students ½ each condition made mindful List conditions: difficult, awkward, or impossible Hypocrisy condition: hi commitment & Justifying Effort: Coming to Like What We Suffer For Aronson & Mills’ (1959) group discussions on sex… “embarrassment test” “Severe initiation” rated the boring discussion more favorable than mild & no initiation groups The more we *** for something, the Post-decision change: to reduce dissonance Brehm, 1956: Female Subjects Rate appliances: toaster, coffee maker, radio, stopwatch, etc. on desirability Choose one (btw.): a. Re-rate: Chosen product… equally rated products previously equal! Helps convince what did was right Changing behavior: changes thoughts and feelings How else are attitudes changed? Cognitive Dissonance Persuasion Cialdini’s 6 Principles of Persuasion Reciprocation Commitment/Consistency Authority Social validation Scarcity Liking/Friendship Reciprocation Regan, 1971: “Art appreciation” “Joe” 2 minute break Experiment Done… $.25 Raffle tickets Implications: not so free samples Likeable Not Likeable No Coke 1.0 0.75 Coke 2.0 1.5 Mints lead to higher tips… Flowers, books, pens lead to higher donations… Supermarket trials Door in the Face Real request preceded by rejection of larger one Boy Scout Concession to reciprocate BUT, 1st set of demands… $5 raffle ticket $1 candy bar Spend 2 hrs/wk w/ juvenile delinquents? Chaperone a 1-day trip triple compliance Cialdini’s 6 Principles of influence Reciprocation Commitment/Consistency Authority Social validation Scarcity Liking/Friendship Commitment & Consistency: Foot in the door Real request prefaced by getting compliance on smaller request Drive Carefully Billboard 17% naturally If 2 weeks prior… 76% Committing to a petition: new view of self as publicly spirited CONSISTENCY Low-balling Car salesman Allows time to ‘get feel for car’ & ‘show it around’ Reports ‘errors in calculation’ Personal commitment lasts w/ range of new reasons Get agreement on original request w/ advantage remove inducement, let decision “stand on newly created legs” Iowa Energy Conservation Contacted by interview Agreeing residents-- in newspaper as public spirited, fuel-conserving citizens Conservation tips: agreement, but no change Saved 422 cubic ft. nat gas each 12.2% in first month NO LONGER publishing names 15.5% for rest of winter Publicity 1. Low energy bill Conservation 2. Low energy bill ity ublic P Need to reduce foreign oil-dependency licity Pub Pu New Self-image Enhanced self-esteem Need to reduce foreign oil-dependency Publicity New Self-image Enhanced self-esteem y t lici b 3. Conservation Conservation Questions? Do you understand everything? ...
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