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Later research documented that only conflicting cognitions that threaten individuals’ positive self-image cause dissonance (Greenwald&Ronis, 1978). Additional research found that dissonance is not only psychologically uncomfortable but also can cause physiological arousal (Croyle&Cooper, 1983) and activate regions of the brain important in emotions and cognitive functioning (van Veen, Krug, Schooler,&Carter, 2009). When we experience cognitive dissonance, we are motivated to decrease it because it is psychologically, physically, and mentally uncomfortable. We can reduce cognitive dissonance    by bringing our cognitions, attitudes, and behaviors in line—that is, making them harmonious. This can be done in different ways, such as:

  • changing our discrepant behavior (e.g., stop smoking),
  • changing our cognitions through rationalization or denial (e.g., telling ourselves that health risks can be reduced by smoking filtered cigarettes),
  • adding a new cognition (e.g., “Smoking suppresses my appetite so I don’t become overweight, which is good for my health.”).

A classic example of cognitive dissonance is John, a 20-year-old who enlists in the military. During boot camp he is awakened at 5:00 a.m., is chronically sleep deprived, yelled at, covered in sand flea bites, physically bruised and battered, and mentally exhausted. It gets worse. Recruits that make it to week 11 of boot camp have to do 54 hours of continuous training.

Not surprisingly, John is miserable. No one likes to be miserable. In this type of situation, people can change their beliefs, their attitudes, or their behaviors. The last option, a change of behaviors, is not available to John. He has signed on to the military for four years, and he cannot legally leave.

If John keeps thinking about how miserable he is, it is going to be a very long four years. He will be in a constant state of cognitive dissonance. As an alternative to this misery, John can change his beliefs or attitudes. He can tell himself, “I am becoming stronger, healthier, and sharper. I am learning discipline and how to defend myself and my country. What I am doing is really important.” If this is his belief, he will realize that he is becoming stronger through his challenges. He then will feel better and not experience cognitive dissonance, which is an uncomfortable state.

The effect of initiation

The military example demonstrates the observation that a difficult initiation into a group influences us to like the group more , due to the justification of effort. We do not want to have wasted time and effort to join a group that we eventually leave. A classic experiment by Aronson and Mills (1959) demonstrated this justification of effort effect. College students volunteered to join a campus group that would meet regularly to discuss the psychology of sex. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: no initiation, an easy initiation, and a difficult initiation into the group. After participating in the first discussion, which was deliberately made very boring, participants rated how much they liked the group. Participants who underwent a difficult initiation process to join the group rated the group more favorably than did participants with an easy initiation or no initiation.

Questions & Answers

why should a firm close down when it's unable to pay it's variable cost?
what is oligopolistic competitive market?
exchange of goods and services between countries is call
Hosea Reply
foreign trade
what is constant opportunity cost
Tiffany Reply
Constant opportunity cost means the value of sacrifice remains constant in every step.
Gross Domestic Product GDP
Yusuf Reply
what is g d p
Jayapal Reply
gross daily performance
How best can a poor country respond to an economic crisis , what does it have to sacrifice.
Bah Reply
they should pay tax as progressive system and should make sacrifice for taxation of their income and land etc
how have the nations tries to solve the problem of scarcity in their economies?
Amani Reply
total concentration on to reduce the per unit cost of commodity by technically or whatever
explain what will happen to producer of green coconut now that we have to lockdown in the kingdom of tonga
Tuha Reply
the demand for coconut will decrease and supply increases which result in the decrease in the price of coconut and the coconut will be more elastic
tonga is producing more long run economic good explain the meaning of the statement and its implication on the tonga economy
Tuha Reply
Demand is the various quantities of goods and services that consumer(s)are willing and able to purchase at a price within a time
Muhammad Reply
What is demand
Mc Reply
demand relates with the need of people for their satisfaction.
demand is de amount of goods and services a consumer us willing to purchase at a given price over a given period of time
riDemand is the amount of good and services which consumers are willing and able to buy at a particular peroid of time and at a given price
Yes that is the tire thing
Demand is the quantity of goods and services which consumers are willing and able to purchase at a given price over a period of time
simply , Demand is the sum up of 1)- desire of the commodity 2)- purchasing power for that commodity
demand is the amount of goods and service wen consumers are willing and able to buy them at a give time
Distinguish between cross elasticity and income elasticity of demand
Ruth Reply
Distinguish between cross elasticity and income elasticity of demand
if change in the demand of the commodity with respect to change in demand of the substitute or other product called cross elasticity
and. if change in the demand of the commodity due to change in the income . called income elasticity
Cross elasticity of demand is the degree of responsiveness of quantity demanded of a commodity to a small change in price of another commodity whiles Income elasticity of demand is the degree of responsiveness of quantity demanded of a commodity to a small change in income of it's consumers
but these are book wordings
income elasticity of demand shows how quantity demanded changes due to changes in income on the other hand cross elasticity refers to how the quantity demanded of a particular good alers given a change in the price of another good.
what is the competitive demand
Adiza Reply
Competitive demand are those commodity dat are competitive in nature e.g the close up and my my toothpaste the increase in price of close up may bring abt decrease in demand of it and it will serve as increase in purchase of my my
With regards to coal shortage and manicipal debts the what form of intervention do you think Eskom can put in place.
kedibone Reply
economic growth of Bhutan
Nima Reply
please, explain all the mathematics terms used in economics
The answer is: little more than high school algebra and graphs.
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Source:  OpenStax, Chapter 15: social psychology sw. OpenStax CNX. Jun 08, 2015 Download for free at https://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11809/1.1
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