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Chapter 9

psy 320 chapter 9

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William Huggon

Psy 320 Chapter 9 Cognitive Dissonance Theory The first two page of the chapter are vignettes that illustrate cognitive dissonance theory CDTFoundations Festinger Cognitive dissonance theory 1950sCDToIncongruity among thoughtsmental elements oTwo cognitions are in a dissonant relationship when the opposite of one cognitive elements follows from the otherEg The cognition The world is a beautiful and wonderful place is dissonant with the realization that evil people can kill thousands of innocent people in a single dayoDefinitionA negative unpleasant state that occurs whenever a person holds two cognitions that are psychologically inconsistent Aronson Two thoughts can be psychologically not logically inconsistent Eg I love junk food is not logically inconsistent with the belief that eating junk food is bad for your heart Core components of CDTo1 Dissonance is psychologically uncomfortable physiologically arousing drives individuals to take steps to reduce ito2 Dissonance occurs when an individual1 holds two clearly incongruent thoughts 2 freely performs a behaviour that is inconsistent with an attitude 3 makes a decision that rules out a desirable alternative 4 expends effort to participate in what turns out to be a less than ideal activity 5 in general is unable to find sufficient psychological justification for an attitude or behaviour heshe adopts o3Magnitude of dissonance depends on host of factors including number of dissonant elements and importance of the issueo4 People are motivated to take steps to reduce dissonance including changing their attitude in response to a persuasive messageo5 Different people employ different strategies to reduce dissonance Some people are better at coping with dissonance than otherso6 People may not always succeed in alleviating dissonance but they are motivated to tryUp to this pointtheories have emphasized thatchanges in attitude changes in behaviour CDT suggests that the opposite can occur changes in behaviour canproduce changes in attitude oCritical requirement of persuasion must be satisfiedPeople must persuade themselves to adopt a new attitude on the topic Similarity between CDT and Theory of Persuasion
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