o amnesics exhibit cognitive dissonance reduction?

Nonchoice prints are prints from the noncritical set

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Unformatted text preview: elected 1.13 1.20 rejected) 2.33 Nonchoice prints 0.15 0.00 rejected) 0.15 0.86 1.12 1.98 0.21 0.29 0.08 Note. Choice prints are the prints in the critical pairs. Nonchoice prints are prints from the noncritical set that were ranked and reranked without an intervening choice; prints with the same ranks as those a participant selected and rejected in the critical set were designated as selected and rejected, respectively, in the noncritical set for comparison purposes. 137 VOL. 12, NO. 2, MARCH 2001 Downloaded from pss.sagepub.com at COLUMBIA UNIV on April 18, 2013 PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE Attitude Change in Amnesics Perhaps the most important measure bearing on our hypothesis that explicit memory does not necessarily play a role in behavior-induced attitude change is the correlation between attitude change and explicit memory. Although amnesic patients showed generally poor memory for the prints, it is still possible that whatever memory they did possess could be related to the amount of attitude change they exhibited. If anything, however, it appears the opposite is more likely true: For both amnesic patients, r .41, p .25, and control participants, r .63, p .04, greater attitude change was observed when fewer prints were accurately identified. In addition, the ability to correctly categorize prints as selected or rejected was not significantly correlated with amount of attitude change for either group, both ps .3. Conclusion The amnesic patients in this experiment showed just as much behavior-induced attitude change as did matched control participants despite the fact that they had no explicit memory for which prints they had chosen and no explicit memory for which prints were involved in the choice. Furthermore, for both groups, the degree of explicit memory for the prints involved in the choice was negatively correlated with the amount of attitude change. These results suggest that explicit memory for one’s counterattitudinal behavior is not a necessary component of behavior-induced attitude change, and might even disrupt the process. Of course, the data from this experiment do not rule out the possibility that attitude change occurred right at the moment of choice, while the behavioral information was still accessible in working memory, even for amnesic patients. If this is the case, the current data suggest that if behavior-induced attitude change is a consciously controlled process, it is happening on a much smaller time scale than previously imagined (Festinger, 1964; Steele, Spencer, & Lynch, 1993). In our second experiment, we incorporated a cognitive-load manipulation to provide a more traditional test of the involvement of controlled processing in behavior-induced attitude change. CONSCIOUS PROCESSES: THE ROLE OF ATTENTION AND WORKING MEMORY If only to live up to its name, rationalization seems to require a good deal of effortful thinking. It seems scarcely metaphorical to say that a friend “on the short end of the stick” of a romantic breakup appears to be working hard to reconceptualize the extinguished relationship as expendable. Attention seems to be d...
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