Textbook Notes (362,796)
Canada (158,054)
Psychology (4,729)
o (43)
Chapter 7

SocialPsych - Chapter7Notes.docx

8 Pages
Unlock Document

Western University
Psychology 2070A/B

Chapter Seven Attitude Change Rationalizing Our Own Behaviour: Cognitive Dissonance Theory Feeling Bad About Irrational Behaviour: The Arousal Dissonance Cognitive dissonance theory proposed by Leon Festinger o States that awareness of consonant cognitions makes us feel good, whereas awareness of dissonant cognitions makes us feel bad o Unpleasant feelings produced by dissonant cognitions motivate us to do something to change our state o Cognition ex. My name is Kristen, it snowed last night...etc Consonant cognitions beliefs that are consistent or compatible with one another o Ex. I brush my teeth twice a day, and tooth brushing prevents cavities Dissonant cognitions beliefs that are inconsistent or logically discrepant with one another o Ex. I smoke, smoking causes cancer Unpleasant feelings that are produced by dissonant cognitions motivate people to change their state Dissonance state of feeling bad or conflicted about ones own irrational behaviour o Ex. I did badly on this test, and I expected to do well on the test Making Irrational Behaviour Rational: The Reduction of Dissonance Dissonance state of aversive arousal To feel bad about ones own irrational behaviour to feel better you must make this irrational behaviour seem rational o Dissonance reduction must involve rationalization convincing ourselves that our current or past behaviour made sense after all o Ex. I smoke, but then smoking causes cancer turns into smoking will not cause cancer in me this all becomes more consonant with cognition I smoke To reduce: o Rationalization explained above o Add consonant cognitions Add cognitions to support persons behaviour Ex. smoking is enjoyable or smoking keeps my weight down This makes behaviour of smoking more rational or justified o Change behaviour Reduce dissonant cognitions or increase importance of consonant cognitions you will end up changing behaviour Ex. smoker accepts link between cancer and smoking and decides she wants to live forever, therefore stops smoking Summary of reduction: change one of the dissonant cognitions, add consonant conditions, or change behaviour Early Research on Dissonance Theory Three major domains of the theory compliance, effort justification, and free choice Induced Compliance: Dissonance from Counterattitudinal Behaviour Counterattitudinal behaviour behaviour that is counter to, or inconsistent with, and individuals attitudes, values, or beliefs Induced Compliance Paradigm used to test dissonance theory that arouses dissonance by getting people to engage in counterattitudinal behaviour Induced to comply with experimenters request that they behave in a way that is inconsistent with their attitudes Effort Justification: Dissonance from Wasted Effort People who think they have wasted effort will be motivated to change one of the dissonant cognitions or to add consonant cognitions Effort justification paradigm theory that arouses dissonance by getting people to invest time or energy to achieve a goal that may not be worthwhile Ex. go through a painful hockey initiation they will be motivated to justify their suffering as perceiving the group as attractive and worthwhile o We are motivated to come to like or value things that we have invested time and effort to attain Free Choice: Dissonance from Making a Decision Decision involve a chosen option and at least one rejected option o Post decisional dissonance after making a decision people always experience some dissonance Because...chosen option will have at least some negative features, and the rejected option have some positive ones Free choice paradigm theory that arouses dissonance by getting people to choose between two or more alternatives o Thinking about the positive features of the rejected option and the negative features of the chosen option will arouse dissonance o Reduce dissonance by focusing on positive feature of chosen option and negative features of rejected option o Difficult choices cause more post decisional dissonance than difficult ones Spreading of alternatives tendency to rate chosen item more favourably and the rejected item less favourably after the decision the evaluations of items are spread apart Alternative Interpretations of Dissonance Findings Self-Perception Theory Daryl Bem proposed self-perception theory People infer their internal states (attitudes and emotions), from their behaviour and the situations in which the behaviour occurred o Ex. attitude towards golfing is unfavourable because they have rarely golfed Occurs when internal states are weak and ambiguous Difference: role of unpleasant arousal o DT: Aversive arousal motivated the attitude change o SPT: no arousal change at all Studies show: aversive arousal is necessary for attitude change to occurImpression Management Theory Impression management theory argues that participants in dissonance experiments want to appear consistent to experimenter and therefore lie about their attitudes Due on the basis that research participants want experimenters to view them positively Impression management motives do influence public behaviour, the attitude change that occurs in dissonance-arousing situation is almost certainly real Self- Affirmation theory Self-affirmation theory argues that people are threatened by behaviour that challenges their self-worth and can deal with this threat by reaffirming an important value o See themselves as moral, capable individuals Counterattitudinal or irrational behaviour threatens views of themselves as honest and intelligent implies they are dishonest or foolish o Counterattitudinal behaviour is upsetting because it threatens self-worth Recent Research on Dissonance Theory The Hypocrisy Paradigm Hypocrisy Paradigm arouses dissonance by having people publically promote a socially desirable behaviour and then be made aware that they have not always exhibited the behaviour themselves in the past Ex. situation makes people realize that they have sometimes failed to perform behaviours they have talked about (re
More Less

Related notes for Psychology 2070A/B

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.