Cognitive Dissonance Theory and Forced Compliance Theory Article Review

Document Type:Thesis

Subject Area:Psychology

Document 1

Cognitive dissonance is one of the major types of social comparison that is very prevalent in the modern society. Social comparison is what drives people into finding outside images with the aim of evaluating personal abilities and opinions. The report below presents a discussion of cognitive dissonance and social forced compliance based on James Carlsmith and Leon Festinger’s study or research article entitled Cognitive Consequences of Forced Compliance. The paper will as well give an evaluation of the how the theories explain major social issues in the modern society. Review of the Classical Study by James Carlsmith and Leon Festinger The 1954 cognitive dissonance study by James Carlsmith and Leon Festinger primarily investigated the outcomes of social forced compliance. Some of the subjects had been informed before that the task was enjoyable while some had not.

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In the experiment control, an interview took place in a different room. Some of the subjects were given $1 while others were $20 with the aim of persuading them that the tasks in the experiment were enjoyable. A female subject was included in the experiment and conversations between the girl and other participants recorded. A scale of 11 was used in rating interview responses. Those paid $20 used money is a justification for conducting the task. Those paid $1 forcefully rationalized personal judgments as a way of convincing themselves that the task was enjoyable. The $1 participants were asked to lie. This action created hypothetical stress that made them believe that the experiment activities were actually enjoyable and interesting. The primary justification for conducting the task was the pay.

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Weaknesses • The data collected in the study was biased considering the fact that it only concentrated on 71 male participants while the aim of the study was not limited to male participants. • The emerging 11 invalid data sets limited the reliability of the data as the data was not used in making the final conclusions as intended when making the sample of the study. The inclusion of the data from the 11 participants could have significantly changed the findings of the research. • The data collected was significantly vague since some of the inputs of the experiment such as money were deceiving in nature. • The age of the study limits the reliability of the article in the modern world. This is a form of deceit.

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The students were well-briefed before the experiment began. This made them aware of the procedures that they were to be involved in. good briefing encourages integrity, responsibility, and respect for dignity and rights of the participants as required by the PSI research ethics (NCGE, 2008). Other Related Resources Orcullo, D. The study defines the case of smoking as a form of cognitive dissonance since it brings in psychological discomfort when one considers the harm of smoking. The dissonance of smoking is based on influence to smoking and negative feelings that come with smoking. The desire to quit smoking due to its harm and the addiction effects lead to dissonance just like lying for money led to cognitive dissonance in James Carlsmith and Leon Festinger’s classical study.

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Matthey, A. , & Regner, T. It is vital for the actions of people to be highly consistent with what they believe, but this does not occur in the case of cognitive dissonance. If one has been paid a relatively high amount of money to prove something that they don’t truly agree with, then one can rationalize that it is fine to justify certain aspects that they were paid to justify. If a relatively low amount of money is paid, then one is not convinced to believe things that they are told to say. Cognitive dissonance results from failing to be convinced to believe what one does not actually believe. One feels uneasy about their actions if they are not resolved (Festinger & Carlsmith, 1959).

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Liking is based on cognition of the value of the pleasure that is derived from action. Liking to smoke and smoking being harmful are two different beliefs that are not interrelated, but one is considered to be dissonant to the other. Cognitive dissonance again happens when two cognitions are dissonant with each other as it is with smoking. The world is in a time where there is easy access to information. As a result, people are forced to face different kinds of information, beliefs, emotions, thoughts, and attitudes from varying perspectives. References Festinger, L. , & Carlsmith, J. M. Cognitive consequences of forced compliance. The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 58(2), 203. J. C. , & San, T. H. Understanding cognitive dissonance in smoking behavior: A qualitative study.

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