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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Helen Shymanski on Friday February 20, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to PSY-P 304 at Indiana University taught by Rydell in Spring2015. Since its upload, it has received 63 views. For similar materials see Social Psychology in Psychlogy at Indiana University.
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Date Created: 02/20/15
Chapter 6 Social Psychology P304 Summary The Theory of Cognitive Dissonance Perspective of self tends to shine light on good features such as intelligence sensibility and decency However dissonance causes changes in behavior when faced with evidence that shows the contrary ie not intelligent not sensible and not decent What are the cognitive distortions that occur What mental effort is put forth to maintain positive selfimage Maintenance of SelfImage 1 Cognitive Dissonance A drive or feeling of discomfort originally de ned as being caused by holding two or more inconsistent cognitions and subsequently de ned as being caused by performing an action that is discrepant from one39s customary typically positive selfimage 2 Experience discomfort when there is dissonance between image and perception of self a This is when someone behaves in ways that are inconsistent or contradictory t their concept of themselves 3 Reducing Dissonance a Change behavior in order to be more inline with selfimage b Justify behavior by changing their cognitions c Attempt to justify their behavior by inventing new cognitions 4 SelfAffirmation In the context of dissonancy theory a way of reducing dissonance by reminding oneself of one or more of one39s positive attributes a Focus on positive quality to offset feelings of having acted foolishy 5 When someone39s selfesteem is increased they are less likely to cheat or commit other unethical acts More likely to work hard lmpact Bias The tendency to overestimate the intensity and duration of one39s emotional reactions to future negative events Most likely will not reduce dissonance Example Smoking Dissonance of smokingchildren are taught that smoking is bad for your health by having information drilled into them at school Yet people still choose to begin smoking Teenagers will justify their action in order to reduce dissonance by saying quotSmoking is coolquot quotI want to be like my friendsquot quotI m healthy nothing is going to happen to mequot quotAdults are always on my back about what I doquot Rational Behavior v Rationalizing Behavior 1 Process information in with a bias a Want information to fall within our accepted preconceptions Decisions Decisions arouse dissonance because they require choosing one thing and not the other PostDecision Dissonance Dissonance aroused after making a decision typically reduced by enhancing the attractiveness of the chosen alternative and devaluating the rejected alternatives a Dissonance will diminish as the decision nalizes D dissonance reduction can change in behavior morals values etc b Once an unethical act is committed the person experiencing dissonance justi es it thereby increasing the likelihood of committing it again Lowballing An unscrupulous strategy whereby a salesperson induces a customer to agree to purchase a product at a low cost subsequently claims it was an error and then raises the prices frequently the customer will agree to make the purchase at the in ated price Example After cheating a student will try to convince themselves that everybody would cheat if they had the chance Questions to consider 1 2 When is it okay for a friend to lie When is it okay to steal when everyone else is doing it Dissonance Culture and the Brain Research supports PostDecision dissonance as an evolutionary adaptive trait because it can be observed in monkeys Culture creates dissonant cognitions and the process and intensity of dissonance reduction do vary across cultures SelfJusti cation Effort increase positive sentiments when someone has worked hard to attain it a Ex Fraternity brothers love their fraternity more after hazing than they did before hazing or saving money to purchase a pair of expensive designer shoes Justi cation of Effort The tendency for individuals to increase their liking for something they have worked hard to attain The harsh training required to join any form of Special Forces in the military e require intense drills pushing of physical limits and breaking of emotional barriers This leads the recruits to feel more cohesive as a unit and their overall pride of the corps The more effort we put into becoming group members fraternity athletic team sorority etc and the harsher stricter initiation will lead to the member liking the group moreeven if the group is not as great as one anticipated 3 Forms ofJusti cation a External Justi cation a reason or an explanation for dissonant personal behavior that resides outside the individual b lnternal Justi cation the reduction of dissonance by changing something about oneself Large Reward External Justi cation Temporary change Small Reward Internal Justi cation l Lasting Change c lnternal justi cation has a more power effect on longterm values and behaviors d Counterattitudinal Advocacy Stating an opinion or attitude that runs counter to one s private belief or attitude i Counterattitudinal advocacy can be used to change people39s attitudes 1 Le treating bulimia Do professional athletes play their sport because they love their sport or the money Actors will turn down better acting roles if they do not offer the same amount of money for a at RomCom character that offers more money Do people who endorse products actually believe in the products or just want to the money 4 Punishment and SelfPersuasion a The less severe the threat or the smaller the reward the less external justi cation the person has for compliance and thus the greater the need for internal justi cation b Selfpersuasion becomes internalized and will last longer than temporary obedience to avoid a punishment c Insuf cient Punishment the dissonance aroused when individuals lack suf cient external justi cation for having resisted a desired activity or object usually resulting in individuals devaluing the forbidden activity or object d SelfPersuasion A longlasting form of attitude change that results from attempts at selfjusti cation The Forbidden Toy Experiment Children who received a threat of mild punishment were far less likely to play with a forbidden toy than children who had received a threat of severe punishment Those given a mild threat had to provide their own justi cation by devaluing the attractiveness of the toy The resulting selfpersuasion lasted for weeks 5 Hypocrisy aMake people face the differences between what they say and what they do b Reduces dissonance leading to more socially bene cial behaviors c Hypocrisy Induction the arousal of dissonance by having individuals make statements that run counter to their behaviors and then reminding them of the inconsistency between that they advocated and their behavior The purpose is to lead individuals to more responsible behavior Ben Franklin Effect quotWe do not love people so much for the good they have done us as for the good we have done themquot Tolstoy He that has once done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another than he whom you yourself have obliged By asking someone a reasonable favor they are more willing to actually help you when you need their help Ben Franklin asked a Congressman to borrow his favorite book After he returned it the Congressman became more willing to work with Franklin on previously bristly legislation 6 Justi cation of Good and Bad a Use favors to Win quotfa vor with your enemy b People need to internally justify the fact that they did something nice foryou c Converse is trueto reduce the threat to your selfimage that could come from doing a bad deed you will tend to justify what you did by denigrating your victim i Extreme example Nazis dehumanized a group in order to embrace the cognition that they deserved everything they got because they were less than human quotThere s nothing people can39t contrive to praise or condemn and nd justi cation for doing soquot Moliere Additional Information Heaven39s Gate March 26 1997 39 victims of a mass suicide were found in a San Diego mansion 21 women18 men They were all lying peacefully in matching out ts shoes and no signs of trauma They were a religious cult who believed there was a space ship ying behind a comet After purchasing a telescope to view the approaching space ship they were unable to see it Instead of adjusting their beliefs they blamed faulty equipment This shows the ability to discount facts in order to reduce dissonance In this case the comet HaleBopp passed near earth the group drank a poison and were hoping to be picked up by the alien space craft to pass through Heaven39s Gate into higher existence
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