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Ch. 6: Cognitive Dissonance
Terms in this set (20)
What is an attitude?
The manner, disposition, feeling or position one holds with regard to a person or a thing; a tendency or orientation, especially of the mind.
-Theories that deal with how our mind processes and/or categorizes information.
-As information is taken in, it is grouped with similar information to form a pattern that helps make it easier to understand and recall the information later.
-Sometimes, even though the information we process relates in some way to information stored in our minds, it is inconsistent with the pattern (attitude) we have already created
-Because the mind processes information differently depending on the environment and type of stimuli, there are several different types of Consistency Theories
Who created Cognitive Dissonance?
What is Cognitive Dissonance?
-It focuses on the balance between the pieces of information in our heads that come together to form our attitude about something.
-A feeling of imbalance, where we do or say or think things that don't fit (are dissonant) with our established beliefs, opinions or values, and we become uncomfortable as a result.
-In order to lessen the uncomfortable feelings that dissonance produces, we are driven to reduce (or eliminate) this dissonance
What is one of the ore principles of Cognitive Dissonance theory?
The inner motivation to eliminate dissonance which can result in behavior or attitude change.
What are the types of Cognitive Relationships?
What is a Consonant Relationship?
Relationship in which our beliefs and behaviors coincide (similar to a charmed loop)
What is a Dissonant Relationship?
Relationship in which our beliefs do not fit with our behaviors
What is an Irrelevant Relationship?
Relationship in which our beliefs and behaviors do not relate
What are the four assumptions of Cognitive Dissonance Theory?
-Humans want consistency between thoughts and beliefs
-Psychological inconsistencies (when beliefs/behaviors don't fit together) lead to dissonance
-Dissonance is cognitively uncomfortable
-We are psychologically driven to reduce dissonance
What is Magnitude of Dissonance?
How strong your feelings of dissonance will influence what you to do reduce those icky feelings you have.
What are three factors that influence Magnitude of Dissonance?
-How important the issue/event is
-The dissonance ratio: the number of dissonant vs. consonant feelings you have about an issue/event
-The strength of reasoning used to justify the dissonancy between the dissonant/consonant feelings
What are methods to cope with dissonance?
Many of the techniques are cognitively based:
-Mentally +/- cognitions to reduce your dissonance ratio
-Convince yourself that the dissonant feelings are NOT as important as you originally thought
-Distort the dissonant information to make it fit with your original beliefs
What are the four ways people will perceive information to avoid dissonance?
-Selective exposure: Seeking out info that is consonant (consistent) with existing beliefs/attitudes helps us avoid and reduce dissonance (like seeks like)
-Selective attention: paying attention to information that is consonant with attitudes/beliefs
-Selective interpretation: Taking ambiguous info and molding it to fit your needs and increase consonance
-Selective retention: remembering and learning consonant information more easily than dissonant info
What study is commonly associated with Cognitive Dissonance theory?
$1/$20 study by Festinger/Carlsmith (1957).
Participants were asked to do an extremely boring task for an hour and were given either $1 or $20 to convince the next participant it was fun.
-After it was over, those paid $20 admitted it was boring but the ones paid $1 claimed it was fun because those paid $1 had CD and had to convince themselves it was fun in order to convince someone else it was fun.
The dissonance we experience after making a large purchase and the steps taken to justify our actions.
'Confidence in your decision'
Bettors were asked how confident they were about the horse they bet on directly after placing the bet; they were more confident after than before.
Leaders used selective interpretation to justify why their predictions didn't come true in order to reduce the dissonance of followers and reenergize the zeal of the followers.
What are the criticisms of Cognitive Dissonance theory?
-Dissonance as the core concept is lacking (tough to measure)
-Self-concept interferes with dissonance
-Lack of practical utility
-Testability issues: hard to DISprove.
What are the strengths of Cognitive Dissonance theory?
-Heuristic value: TON of research
-Offers insight into the relationship between attitudes, cognitions, affect & behavior
THIS SET IS OFTEN IN FOLDERS WITH...
Ch. 7: Expectancy Violations Theory
Ch. 8: Uncertainty Reduction Theory
Ch. 9: Social Penetration Theory
Ch. 11: Social Exchange Theory
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