Lecture 14 - Justifying Our Actions Pt. 1
Lecture 14 - Justifying Our Actions Pt. 1 PSYC 2012
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Leslie Ogu on Tuesday March 22, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSYC 2012 at George Washington University taught by Stock, M in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 14 views. For similar materials see Social Psychology in Psychlogy at George Washington University.
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Date Created: 03/22/16
Leslie Ogu PSYC 2012 03/21/2016 ustifying Our Actions Pt. 1 Situations Where We Tend to Try and Justify Our Actions ➢ You are on a diet, and just ate an unhealthy meal at a fast food spot ➢ You spend a lot of money to a vacation spot and it ends up being a letdown ➢ You are asked to write a paper about God being real, but are an atheist Can Behaviors Affect Attitude? ➢ Cognitive Dissonance Theory : discomfort that people feel when two cognitions (beliefs or attitudes) conflict, or when they behave in ways that are inconsistent with their perception of themselves ○ If a person can’t change the behavior, their attitude will often be changed to align with the behavior in order to reduce the dissonance ○ 3 Necessary Components 1. Feeling of personal responsibility a. E.g., negative consequences were freely chosen 2. Physiological Arousal 3. Attribution of Arousal to Own Behavior ■ Dissonance doesn’t arise specifically come from inconsistency. If a person can justify their behavior throuexternal reasons, dissonance is not aroused ○ The LessLeadstoMore Effect ■ If there are strong reasons for behaving in ways that contradict our attitudes, then: ● Dissonance will be low or nonexistent ● There will be no motivation to make our attitudes match our behavior ■ But, if there is no good reason for your counterattitudinal behavior, then: ● Dissonance will be strong ● There will be a strong motivation to make our attitudes match our behaviour ■ Good Reason for hypocritical behaviour ⇒ Low Dissonance ⇒ Small Attitude Change ■ No Good Reason for hypocritical behaviour ⇒ High Dissonance ⇒ Big Attitude Change ○ Ways to Reduce Dissonance ■ Change your attitude ● “I don’t really need to be on a diet” ■ Change your perception of the behavior ● “I hardly ate any of that chocolate” ■ Add new cognitions ● “Chocolate is very nutritious” ■ Minimize the importance of the conflict ● “I don’t care if I’m overweight” ■ Reduce perceived choice ● “I had no choice the chocolate was prepared just for me!” ■ Change behavior ● Stop eating chocolate ○ Dissonance and Smoking ■ See yourself smoking vs. smoking is unhealthy ■ This leads to negative arousal people don’t want to behave in a way that will kill them ■ How do you reduce dissonance? ○ 3 Types of Cognitive Dissonance 1. Justifying attitudediscrepant behavior 2. Justifying effort 3. Justifying difficult decisions ○ Insufficient Justification ■ Internal justification: reducing dissonance by changing something about oneself = attitude change ● Scientific importance (marginal) ● Participate in similar experiment (direction only) ■ External justification: a reason or explanation for dissonant behavior that resides outside the person = minimal attitude change ○ Examples of Justifying Behaviors ■ Smoking ■ Condom Use ■ Punishment ■ Good deeds ■ Cheating ○ Justifying Effort: the tendency to increase liking for something one worked hard to attain ■ Ex: careers; graduate school ○ Justifying Difficult Decisions ■ Postdecisional dissonance: dissonance aroused after making a decision ● Reduced by enhancing the attractiveness of the chosen alternative and devaluing the rejected ones ■ Once people make a tough decision (between two equallyappealing options), they tend to convince themselves that made the best decision ○ Using dissonance for the forces of good ■ Dissonance can be used to produce beneficial changes in behavior ● Ex: promoting nonsmoking; seatbelt use ■ Dissonance is especially useful when used to generate feelings of hypocrisy ● Counter additional advocacy: publicly stating an opinion, attitude, or behavior that is inconsistent to one’s private attitude, behavior, or belief ○ Dissonance and beneficial behavior change ■ For this strategy to work, several conditions must exist and the persons in question must: ● Publicly advocate the desired behaviors ● Be induced to think about their own failures to show these behaviors in the past ● Be given access to direct means for reducing dissonance
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