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Unformatted text preview: It seems obvious that attitudes can affect behavior. But can behaviors affect attitudes? If the person cannot change the behavior, the attitude will often be changed to come in line with the behavior in order to reduce the dissonance. 3 necessary components of 3 necessary components of cognitive dissonance Dissonance does not arise out of inconsistency per se. When the person can justify the behavior via external reasons, dissonance is not aroused. The LessLeadstoMore Effect If there are strong reasons for behaving in ways that contradict our attitudes:
– Dissonance will be low or nonexistent
– No motivation to make our attitudes match our behavior But, if there is no good reason for your counter
attitudinal behavior: The LessLeadstoMore Effect
Good reason for
Dissonance No good reason for
Dissonance Ways to reduce dissonance
Ways to reduce dissonance Change your Change your “I don’t really need to be on a diet” “I hardly ate any chocolate” “I don’t care if I’m overweight” Minimize the Reduce “I had no choice the chocolate was prepared just for me!” Change Stop eating chocolate 1) Justifying attitudediscrepant 1) Justifying attitudediscrepant behavior: A classic study Participants perform a dull task They are then asked to tell another person that the experiment was fun Some people are paid $1, some people are paid $20 for the lie. Question: Which group of people will later rate the task as more enjoyable? Insufficient Justification
Insufficient Justification Rating of
enjoyment No lie $20 lie $1 lie Insufficient Justification – Scientific importance (marginal)
– Participate in similar exp. (direction only) $20: External justification: Conterattitudinal Behavior: Essay Attitude toward Police Action (Cohen, 1962) 5
Control $10 $5 $1 $0.50 Cheating
toward cheating Before test After test 2) Justifying effort
2) Justifying effort The tendency to increase liking for something one worked hard to attain.
– e.g., the sex discussion study
– Hazing rituals
– Careers Aronson & Mills
Aronson & Mills Subjects experience initiation – No initiation (e.g. chair, table, sad, book)
– Mild initiation (e.g. prostitute, virgin)
– Harsh initiation (obscene wordssorry, I can’t put these up!) Subjects listen to boring group discussion Cognitions: – C1: This group was boring
– C2: I endured considerable embarrassment to join this group (counterattitudinal behavior) No initiaiton Mild initiation Severe initiation 3) Justifying difficult decisions
3) Justifying difficult decisions Postdecisional dissonance Once people make a tough decision (between two equallyappealing options), they tend to convince themselves that they made the best decision.
“Spreading of alternatives” – E.g., product ratings Recipe for Dissonance – Deciding whom to marry is more important than deciding which Facebook picture you want to use – You can switch your Facebook picture far Women, product testing, & Women, product testing, & postdecisional dissonance
Unchosen item Rated
of product Before choice After choice Jaccardpostdecisional dissonance
Jaccardpostdecisional dissonance Subjects engage in unrelated task Offered choice of #1 (popular) or #4 (less popular) record album as payment Induced to pick #4 (in dissonance condition) Attitudes toward albums rated Jaccardpostdecisional Jaccardpostdecisional dissonance C1: I like album #1 better C2: I chose album #4 (counterattitudinal behavior) Reducing Cognitive Dissonance People are motivated to reduce dissonance. Gibbons et al. (1997): measured smokers’ risk assessment (i.e., of heart disease, lung cancer) before, during, and after quitting in a cessation clinic. Using dissonance for the forces of Using dissonance for the forces of good… Dissonance can be used to produce beneficial changes in behavior e.g., promoting nonsmoking, seatbelt use, etc. Cognitive Dissonance & Behavior Cognitive Dissonance & Behavior Change Stone et al. (1994): Participants write essay about danger of AIDS and importance of condom use. – Write essay for use in High School sex education class
– Make list of own failures to use condoms Dissonance/hypocrisy condition = Record video of essay and make list of failures Commitment only = Video of essay only Mindful = Condom failures only Information = control group given info on HIV/AIDS Cognitive Dissonance & Behavior Cognitive Dissonance & Behavior Change Results: Participants in dissonance condition more likely to: Cognitive Dissonance & Behavior Cognitive Dissonance & Behavior Change: Water Conservation
Aronson et al. (1990): Water shortage on campus in central California. Female researchers intercepted female students on their way to the showers ½ asked to sign a flyer encouraging people to conserve water; ½ only saw the flyer ½ also made mindful of past showering behavior Cognitive Dissonance & Behavior Cognitive Dissonance & Behavior Change: Water Conservation Dissonance and beneficial behavior Dissonance and beneficial behavior change For this strategy to work, several conditions must exist, the persons in question must: THE BEN FRANKLIN EFFECT "He that has once done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another than he whom you yourself have obliged.” Ben Franklin reported using this. After he borrowed a book from a political opponent, the other politician became more civil toward him. Jecker & Landy (1969) Participants were in a “intellectual contest” and won "contest money" from the researcher. Later the researcher approached 1/3 of the participants and explained he'd actually used his own money and had little left; could they do him a favor and give the money back? Most agreed. ...
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- Fall '11
- Cognitive Dissonance