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Lecture 5 120A - Lecture 5 120A Psychological Approach 1...

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Lecture 5 120A Psychological Approach 1. Assumptions Lessons from 9/11 that have been twisted Some see it as the impatience of the US to fight a war; others say we should cooperate due to the results of 9/11 Caused by different starting beliefs Beliefs simplify reality 2. Psychological Theories A. Cognitive Dissonance theory Leon Festinger Why beliefs don’t change even with strong evidence against it When people are confronted with inconstant evidence they create tension, which people want to reduce or eliminate. Cog Diss occurs when 2 ideas conflict with one another. EX: someone smokes even though smoking causes cancer= dissonance. Amount of dissonance depends on ratio of for and against of the two ideas. TO reduce dissonance add positive arguments and reduce bad ideas against your belief. Ways to reduce dissonance: change behavior, change environment, add consisten beliefs, change negative beliefs B. Effects of Dissonance Can lead to selective attention- people only pay attention to info that supports their beliefs. This is why the media only has a limited impact on public opinion, as they only
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