PSYA02 – Lecture 14
Dissonance: when there is a discrepancy between two attitude, dissonance occurs where
the person experiencing the dissonance wants to reduce the dissonance.
Leon Festinger came across this woman who said the world is going to end on a specific
date. She said aliens spoke to her and communicated by making her hands move. The
aliens supposedly would save the humans before the world ended if they followed this
o Leon didn’t believe in this concept but wanted to see how others would react.
o When the world didn’t end, he interviewed the followers. Most of the followers
seemed to believe that the date was wrong, but the world is still going to end.
o This is because, for them to realize that the concept is fake, they would have to
realize that they were fools for believing such an unusual concept.
o Thus, they still believe the unusual concept because they don’t want to feel dumb.
To reduce dissonance:
o Reduce the importance of one of the dissonant bits: in the study below, the
participants who got $2 told themselves that the study wasn’t that long.
o Adding consonant elements: the participants found some superficial area to focus
o Changing one of the dissonant elements:
The Relevance of Induced Compliance:
A study was conducted where individuals were given $2 or $20 depending on the
condition. In the study, the participant was told to tap a pencil against a surface to create
a rhythm. After the hour was up, they were given the money and were told to tell the next
participant about the experiment.
If the person received $2, they would tell the next participant that the experiment is
simple but fascinating since they found out things about themselves.
o They said this because they didn’t want to be considered as dumb.
If the person received $20, they would tell the next participant that the experiment is
boring but they’ll receive money in the end.
Dissonance and Perceived Value:
Starbucks has better coffee then Tim Hortons and wanted to sell it but it wasn’t selling as
much as Tim Hortons was. They decided to make the price more exp