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An COGNITIVE DISSONANCE THEORY Mere exposure Leon Festinger (1957): A fundamental human motivation is to maintain a state of cognitive consistency, that is: ones beliefs, attitudes and beliefs do not contradict one another. A fundamental and powerful motivation. Dissonant cognitions: I am pro-choice. vs. I gave a pro-life speech. I am on a diet. vs. I just ate a chocolate cake- INCONSISTENCE Festingers formal definition of inconsistent: two elements are in a dissonant relation if the obverse of one would follow from the other. [obverse, n.a proposition inferred immediately from another by denying the opposite of what the given proposition affirms: The obverse of "all A is B" is "no A is not B".] Dissonance (according to Festinger): the appearance of dissonant cognitions arouses an aversive state of tension-either change attitude or behavior When Doing is Believing Festinger & Carlsmith (1959): 1.Subject is greeted by experimenter who says that they are interested in various measures of human performance. 2.Experimenter gives subject a wooden board containing 48 square pegs in square holes. Subject is asked to turn each peg a quarter turn to the left, then a quarter turn back to the right, then back to the left, then back to the right. The routine is EXTREMELY MONOTONOUS, and its meant to be. 3.After 60 ENDLESS, EXCRUCIATING minutes the experimenter returns. Says, You were in the control group. To test the effects of motivation on performance, other participants are being told that the experiment will be fun and exciting. Would you be willing to tell the next participant that the experiment was enjoyable? 4.To make it more attractive, the experimenter offers the subject money: Either $1 or $20 (a lot of money in 1959-$80 by todays standards!). 5.After telling the lie, subjects asked to rate how much they liked the peg-board task. Did subjects experience dissonance? Results: Subjects rating depended on how much they were paid (-5 to 5 scale). No lie (control) $1 lie $20 lie More like the test Subjects rating of their willingness to participate in similar experiment in the future. No lie (control) $1 lie $20 lie The less they were paid-more they like the experiment Counter-intuitive-train dog with hi-five In F & Cs language, $20 subjects had sufficient justification (for lying)$1 subjects had insufficient justification-more attitude change A State of Dissonance I am a good person. Vs. I said the task was fun. (a lie) To resolve, you could change I am a good person to I am a bad person but thats probably less likely than:
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