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Heider’s Balance Theory Attitude – Attitude Consistency We prefer it when our attitudes toward various things are consistent.
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+ + Balanced + + Unbalanced Balance Theory • Advertisers understand balance theory! + ­ You You + ??? GOOD!!! + ??? BAD!!!
Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance
Dissonance & Physiology • Dissonance stems from physiological arousal that occurs when cognitions concerning the self are discrepant. • How do we know this? – Get participants to commit “counterattitudinal behavior” (write essay in favor of large tuition hike). – Inject with (a) placebo, (b) tranquilizer, or (c) amphetamine (tell them it’s a memory drug). – Who reports greatest attitude change (sign of dissonance)? – Dissonance and the pill study. – Get participants to commit counterattitudinal behavior. – TELL them that you are giving them either (a) placebo, (b) tranquilizer, or (c) amphetamine (all pills actually placebos). – Who reports greatest attitude change?
Real drugs study (the one we can’t do anymore) High/low choice Amphetamine Nixon should be pardoned because... Placebo Tranquilizer Attitude toward Nixon pardon Subject told they were getting memory drug. Really got these drugs.
Cooper, Zanna, & Taves (1978)
Placebo study (the one we can still do) High/low choice Amphetamine Controversial Speakers should Be banned from campus Placebo Tranquilizer Attitude toward Banning speakers All pills really placebos. Subjects told they would have these effects.
Zanna & Cooper (1974)
Post­decisional Dissonance Spread of alternatives • Rate how much you like a bunch of CDs. • Rate the CDs again. • If decision was difficult (e.g., chose between 5 th and 6 th favorite), watch what happens to ratings!
chosen favorability • Make choice between 2 of them. rejected Choice is made Post­decisional Dissonance at the Racetrack Prebet
Postbet 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Effort Justification • Do you want to join my discussion club? You have to do one of the following: • Read 5 books on topics that will be discussed. • Just sign this form. • Who’s more motivated to like the club? • Sunk costs dilemma • Once you’ve invested a lot into something, it’s really hard to accept possibility that what you’re doing isn’t worth it. • You have $25 billion budget to spend on project. After $20 billion, it’s obvious that it’s a complete disaster. Do you still spend that last $5 billion? • If we were completely rational the answer would be HELL NO. But we’re not...