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PSYC260Lecture04

PSYC260Lecture04 - PSYC 260 Sept 9th 2008 Topic 2 Cognitive...

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PSYC 260 Sept 9 th , 2008 Topic 2: Cognitive Dissonance and Self-Esteem Maintenance 1. Modern Approaches to Self-Esteem Maintenance – we are built to protect and justify our self-esteem a. Self-Affirmation Theory (Steele, 1988) i. People try to view themselves as good, competent, moral b. Ways people deal with it When this view is threatened i. Deal directly with the threat: change self, change cognition, add cognition hard ii. Affirm themselves in an unrelated domain c. Which way of dealing with threat do people prefer? Experiment: Stone, Weigand, Cooper, & Aronson (1997) Sexually active students made a speech for high school students in favor of practicing safe sex Dissonance Condition: Some participants asked to think about times they did not practice safe sex No Dissonance Condition: Not asked to think about past behavior Some participants given opportunity to reduce dissonance by donating money to help the homeless Others could either donate money to help homeless or purchase condoms for their use Results of Stone et al. Study: Percent Buying Condoms or Donating to Homeless No Dissonance: equal, low percentage Dissonance: when there is only one opportunity, percentage of donating to homeless is very high When there is also the buying condoms choice, percentage is very high and donating percentage is low Conclusion of Stone et al. Study: People prefer to deal directly with threats to their self-esteem when possible
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