Class 11- 02:21:12.doc

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Nicholas Pearson

Class 11- 02/21/12 Cognitive Dissonance and Self-Esteem maintenance Modern Approaches to Self-Esteem Maintenance – Self-Affirmation Theory – People try to view themselves as good, competent, moral – When this view is threatened, people: – are afraid? (he changed the slide too fast again) Ex: – Participants – Science majors – Business majors – Asked to wear white lab coat or regular clothes – Rated record albums twice – Replicating Brehm's Post-Decisional Dissonance – Steele replaced Brehm's findings for the Business majors with and without coats (and science majors without coats) – Something odd happened with the Science majors with coats – Wearing a white lab coat was self-affirming for the science majors – Therefore, though they may have experience dissonance when thinking about the records they chose, the lab coat reaffirmed their status as scientist and thus the did not show evidence of the post decisional dissonance Stone, Weigand, Cooper, andAronson – Sexually active students made a speech for high school students in favor of practicing safe sex – Dissonance condition – think about times you didn't practice safe sex – No dissonance condition – Not asked to think about past behavior – Some participants given opportunity to reduce dissonance indirectly by donating money to help the homeless or by buying condoms or by keeping the money – No dissonance group: 80% kept the money – Dissonance group: 85% donated to homeless Conclusion: – People prefer to deal directly with threats to their self-esteem – If that is not possible, people affirm themselves in unrelated domains Self-Evaluation Maintenance Theory (Tesser, 1988) – Focus on interpersonal relationships – People act in ways to maintain self-esteem – Three variables of interest – Closeness to other person – Relevance of activity to self-esteem – Performance level on the activity Basking in Reflective Glory – Close to other person – Activity not central to our self-esteem – Performance of other person is high/good – No dissonance – Close to other person – Activity is central to our self-esteem – performance of other person is better than ours – dissonance is created How to reduce dissonance – Focus on other person – reduce closeness to other person – Focus on own attitude – Reduce centrality of activity to your self-esteem – Focus on behavior – outperform the other person Implications for close relationships – Parent / child relationships
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