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UTC - PSY 3310 - Study Guide - Final

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UTC - PSY 3310 - Study Guide - Final

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background image Social Psychology  Study Guide  Exam 2  1. Compare and contrast cognitive-dissonance and self-perception theory. How 
are the two theories similar? How are they different? 
  Similarities   o  They are both balance theories that elaborate on human tendency to  seek consistencies in cognition.  o  Both assume that behavior influences our attitudes, and are  attempting to answer why we have specific attitudes about things.    Differences  o  CD is about how our attitudes change. SPT is about how our attitudes  are formed o  CD requires a strong initial attitude (a standard of behavior). SPT  does not require a strong attitude, but rather a weak or non-existent 
one (as in the person has no strong feelings about the subject). 
o  In CD our already strong attitude is adjusted to fit with our behaviors  in order to remain consistent. In SPT our behavior decides/forms our 
attitude, since we do not have a strong initial attitude to begin with.  
o  CD focuses on the justification attempts after the action has taken  place. If a behavior can be justified with their beliefs, the person will 
have no physical discomfort with acting that way, but if the behavior 
cannot be justified with their beliefs they will change their beliefs. 
  Example: Kids are mildly told not to play with a specific toy,  while other kids are punished for playing with the toy. The kids 
who were mildly told not to play with it will justify their 
behavior of not playing with the toy by thinking that they don’t 
really want to play with the toy anyways. The kids who were 
punished will still want to play with the toy because their 
behavior of not playing with it was only caused by severe 
o  SPT on the other hand looks at behavior to form attitudes. If a person  has a hobby initially, and then they begin to be paid for doing their 
hobby, that money reward will be viewed as the reason they are 
doing their hobby instead of the enjoyment of it. The person has 
background image looked at the behavior, and now believes that since they are getting 
money for it they cannot possibly enjoy their hobby anymore. 
Rewards for hobbies lead people to enjoy them less.  
2. What exactly does cognitive-dissonance and self-perception theory say?    Cognitive Dissonance: This is the stress and anxiety people feel when their  beliefs do not match up with their behavior. To fix this, people will adjust 
their attitudes to be in line with their behavior. Nobody wants to feel 
hypocritical or like they are liars, so we persuade and convince ourselves 
that we are not through a number of personally valid excuses. This creates 
balance and comfort in a person’s life, to act the way they think they are. 
(Ex: You believe that people should vote, but you did not vote this year. To 
create balance you tell yourself that you were too sick to have gone to the 
polling place.) There are four things that have to happen for this to occur in 
an individual: 
o  The inconsistency has to cause negative consequences. (I should  have voted because I believe people should vote)  o  The individual has to take responsibility for their actions. (I know that  I should have voted and did not)  o  There has to be physiological arousal which is generally physical  discomfort. (Not voting bothered you)  o  The arousal has to be associated with the action that had negative  consequences. (I am bothered by not voting)    Self-Perception Theory: Attitudes can be formed by observing our own  behavior. This theory explains how our attitudes are formed, or how our 
weak and inconsistent attitudes are altered because of our behavior. This 
shift in attitude has a lot to do with our motivation to appear in a certain 
way around others. If an attitude is on a shaky foundation, others can easily 
influence change. Example: If people are asked to smile while watching 
something, they will like it more than if they had not smiled. Their behavior 
formed an attitude about it. 
3. What implications do cognitive-dissonance and self-perception theory have 
for child rearing? 
  According to Cognitive Dissonance theory, severe punishment results in  the child still wanting to do whatever they were punished for doing. This is 
because they associate the reason for not doing the activity with being 
background image punished, instead of not liking the activity. Mild measures are much more 
efficient to get a child to not perform the specific activity, because when 
they are not doing it they start to believe that they did not really like the 
activity in the first place.  
  According to Self-Perception Theory, rewarding participation in an  intrinsically pleasing activity (a hobby) will make the person or child not 
enjoy the activity as much as they did before the reward. This does not 
work if the reward is for competence, but only if the reward is for simply 
performing the task. For example, if you enjoy running and enter a race and 
get first place that does not mean you will enjoy running less. But if you 
were running with others and got the same reward at the end as everybody 
else, you might begin to not like running anymore because you associate 
the behavior of running with getting a reward instead of enjoyment.   
  4. Describe in detail and explain an experiment that was presented in class that 
supported each cognitive dissonance theory and self-perception theory. Be 
detailed in your description-- state what was done, the measures, and what was 
found in each experiment. For example, describe and explain the famous 
Festinger & Carlsmith study on cognitive dissonance. 
  Cognitive Dissonance Experiment: Festinger and Carlsmith (1959)  Participants were given either $20 or $1 to perform an unarguably boring 
task. Then they were asked to lie to the participants next in line to perform 
the task that the task was really fun. Those who received $20 admitted that 
the task was boring afterwards. Those who received $1 claimed that the 
task was enjoyable afterwards
, and not boring. The reason this happened 
is because people do not want inconsistencies in their behavior and beliefs. 
People with $20 justified lying by getting paid. The people with $1 did not 
receive enough money to justify the lie, so they in turn tried to make 
themselves believe that the boring task was a fun one.  
  Self-Perception Theory Experiment: College men were hooked up to  electrodes and told that the researchers were just measuring their heart 
rates, but really the researchers were controlling their heart rates. The 
researchers showed the men pictures, and during the showing of a 
randomly selected image, the researchers would speed up his heart rate. At 
the end the men were asked to choose to take home one of the images. 
The men took home the image when their heart rate increased. They 

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School: University of Tennessee - Chattanooga
Department: Psychology
Course: Social Psychology
Professor: David Ross
Term: Fall 2016
Name: Exam 2 Study Guide
Description: This document is a filled out study guide of what Professor Ross sent to us.
Uploaded: 11/04/2016
12 Pages 77 Views 61 Unlocks
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