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Lecture 10 - Psych 135 Lecture 10 Rationalisation When...

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Psych 135 – Lecture 10 Rationalisation When prophecy fails Marian Keech receives message from aliens (August/September 1954) o World to be destroyed 7am on Dec. 21, 1954 o She and her followers would be saved at 12am “The seekers” came and held vigils o Professionals who gave up their careers o Stayed at Keech’s house for the week leading up to this Midnight on the morning of the 21 st and… NOTHING happened o They aren’t saved o The world isn’t destroyed. Do the seekers believe their prophecy was wrong? No! They believe God was so impressed with their response to the prophecy that he saved the world. Rationalisation Making something seem better than it actually is to make yourself feel better Ian had dessert and then remembered that he had bought a brownie. He wanted the brownie but was not allowed to have it. His grandmother then said that you can have some fruit salad with me instead. He finally said “fine..” and then he said “fruit salad is better than a brownie anyway.” We all do it when it comes to schools, jobs, dating, sports, losing on reality shows How does it affect the way we understand the actions of others and ourselves? o Seems inauthentic Why do people rationalise? o A need to feel (not be) consistent/authentic (Hyp. 5) How does it work? o Balance theory Balance Theory and Cognitive Consistency People want to be consistent Liking people who like what we like o Take you, person you are thinking about and the thing you are thinking about and look at the extent of consistency or inconsistency in relationships You don’t like stealing candy Jim really likes stealing candy You and Jim are really good friends Unbalanced triad You can change your opinion of stealing candy. Balanced again: you like stealing candy, you like Jim and Jim likes stealing candy You can stop being friends with Jim. Balanced: you don’t like Jim, you don’t like stealing candy, Jim likes stealing candy. The multiple has to be positive for this to be a balanced triad. Cognitive Dissonance Theory Intra personal conflict o unlike balance theory which is inter personal Two of one’s own cognitions conflict, causing dissonance o Often, one of the cognitions is awareness of a behaviour I just stole I think stealing is wrong
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