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Lecture

March 18th - PSYC473.doc

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC 473
Professor
Mark Baldwin
Semester
Winter

Description
Psyc473 march 18 , 2013 Class divided in two groups. One group: “List 3 reasons why tuition fees at McGill should be raised?” Motivated Self-cognition Motivation influences how you think about self, but also things you do  “Thinking is for doing” • Counter-attitudinal behavior o If people are led to advocate an opinion different from their own, they come to shift opinion in direction of the behavior (but only under conditions they feel free to make their choice!) o Asked students to write essays strongly advocated that police officers were justified in police brutality, then asked about their own opinion about it  their opinions shifted! • Why does shift happen? o Look to major motivations regarding the self: o 1. Self-consistency: people are motivated to maintain a consistent image of themselves (want to feel like we have a consistent, stable idea of who we are)  Cognitive Dissonance Theory (Part of Leon Festinger’s original theory): we prefer to have a consistency among beliefs and experience. When we have inconsistent cognitions, we experience psychological tension, discomfort, distress, then we’re motivated to resolve inconsistency • E.g. “it’s raining” vs “I’m not getting wet”; get confused and look for explanation • “I smoke” vs “Smoking causes cancer”; tension between person’s belief and knowledge (do something inconsistent with knowledge) o Can change behaviour o When can’t change behaviour, change cognitions (beliefs) e.g.: sufficient justification, like no having no choice; or don’t believe popular knowledge o I believe X BUT I freely chose to do Y  Dissonance  Attitude change (“I believe Y”) o 2. Self-Enhancement : inconsistent cognitions only provoke strong emotions if they are important  Self-justification model of dissonance  people unconsciously change their attitude to maintain a positive self-image; you don’t want to be a hypocrite, you want to feel good about yourself  Steele: if given an opportunity to affirm a positive self-image (e.g. writing about a positive self-aspect), attitude-change effect disappears  give a different way to feel good about self! Implies that attitude change was self-justification o 3. Self-presentation: attempt to control the impressions others have of us (impression management); the view of others matters (if we become less important to others, or if others have a view of us that is different from ours, we feel uncomfortable, so motivated to manage what they think)  Goffman’s metaphor of acting a play: have a character we act out in our interactions with people, and try to convey it to other people. Costume  similarity of “costumes” we wear in our roles e.g. students dress in a certain way, teachers, business people, flight attendant, police officers  Self-presentation motive is powerful  E.g. lecture script: everyone wants to conform, no on
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