o amnesics exhibit cognitive dissonance reduction?

23 p 05 r 51 our prediction that participants under a

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Unformatted text preview: he tones. Results and Discussion Attitude change No-load participants showed the standard behavior-induced attitude change; there was a greater difference between the mean rank of the selected and rejected pairs in Phase 3 than there was in Phase 1, t(14) 2.23, p .05, r .51. Our prediction that participants under a cognitive load would also show attitude change was supported, t(14) 2.64, p .02, r .58. As shown in Table 3, nearly identical levels of attitude change were evidenced by participants in the two conditions in response to the counterattitudinal behavior. A comparison between the two groups revealed no differences, t(28) 0.71, p .2, r .10. As in Experiment 1, there was no attitude change in the noncritical set; this was true for participants in both the no-load and the cognitiveload conditions, t(14) 0.21, p .3, and t(14) 0.12, p .3, respectively (see Table 3). 138 VOL. 12, NO. 2, MARCH 2001 Downloaded from pss.sagepub.com at COLUMBIA UNIV on April 18, 2013 PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE M.D. Lieberman et al. Explicit memory The cognitive-load manipulation did not attenuate attitude change, but did it affect other kinds of processing? To answer this question, we examined participants’ ability to identify which of the 15 prints were presented in the choice phase. Because cognitive load impairs encoding (e.g., Fletcher, Shallice, & Dolan, 1998), we expected that load would impair memory for the counterattitudinal behavior. This is exactly what we found: Subjects under cognitive load were able to identify only half as many prints (35%) as their no-load counterparts (67%), t(30) 4.89, p .001, r .67. Though participants under load were near chance in their identification accuracy, they correctly categorized as chosen or rejected those prints that they accurately identified as often as did the no-load participants (67% vs. 73%, respectively), t(30) 0.03, p .2, r .01. In short, even though cognitive load impaired participants’ ability to think about their behavior, they showed the same amount of attitude change as participants not under cognitive load. As in Experiment 1, we assessed the extent to which degree of attitude change correlated with explicit memory measures. For both the cognitive-load and the no-load participants, there were no significant correlations between attitude change and either memory measure, all ps .3. Conclusion Regardless of cognitive-load condition, participants showed substantial attitude change in response to their counterattitudinal behavior. Attitudes changed despite the fact that participants under a cognitive load were significantly impaired in their recall of which prints were involved in the choice phase of the experiment. These data, combined with the results of Experiment 1, suggest that the process of behavior-induced attitude change is a relatively automatic one (cf. Zanna & Aziza, 1976). It is possible that attitude change requires some minimal amount of attention, conscious awareness, or mental effort, but it is fair to claim that unaltered performance under cognitive load indicates that this attitude-change process is to- Table 3. Attitude chang...
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