Leon Festinger and James Carlsmith proposed the term cognitive dissonance which is Every individual has his or her Festinger, L. and Carlsmith, J. M. ( ). The following article by Leon Festinger and James M. Carlsmith is the classic study on Reprinted from Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, , 58, . Forced compliance theory is a paradigm that is closely related to cognitive dissonance theory. Leon Festinger and James M. Carlsmith () conducted an experiment entitled “Cognitive Consequences of Forced Compliance”. This study.

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There remain, featinger analysis, 20 S s in each of the thee conditions. In fact, though, it seems we find it easier to persuade ourselves that what we have achieved is worthwhile and that’s what most of us do, evaluating highly something whose achievement has cost us dear – whether other people think it’s much cop or not!

Cognitive Dissonance and Festinger & Carlsmith’s Study

The products included an automatic coffee maker, an electric sandwich grill, an automatic toaster, and a portable radio. In summary, this study concluded that if an individual performs an action that goes against what they initially believe, the belief will typically change. It is most persuasive when it comes to feelings and thoughts about oneself. The rub is that making a decision cuts off the possibility that you can enjoy the advantages of the unchosen alternative, yet it assures you that you must accept the disadvantages of the chosen alternative.

The question was included because, as far as we could see, it had nothing to do with the dissonance that was experimentally created and could not be used for dissonance reduction. In other words, he could tell himself that a short life filled with smoking and sensual pleasures is better than a long life devoid of such joys. The subjects were divided into two groups, A and B, where Group A was provided no introduction regarding the tasks they will be performing and Group B was.

Recently Festinger proposed a theory concerning cognitive dissonance from which come a number of derivations about opinion change following forced compliance. And, indeed, in the Control condition the average rating was. While it is true that the experiment took place in the 50s, the results are still being recognized up to this date. Login Sign Up Privacy Policy. He reasoned that if the person is induced to make an overt statement contrary to his private opinion by the offer of some reward, then the greater the reward offered, the greater should be the subsequent opinion change.


The experimenter E then came in, introducing himself to the S and, together, they walked into the laboratory room where the E said:. The behavior can’t be changed, since it was already in the past, so dissonance will need to be reduced by re-evaluating their attitude to what they have done.

Cognitive Dissonance Theory | Simply Psychology

The content of what the S said before the girl made the remark that her friend told her it was boring. Add to my courses. For example, thinking smoking causes lung cancer will cause dissonance if a person smokes. The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 59 2 The resulting dissonance could, of course, most directly be reduced festinver persuading themselves that the tasks were, indeed, interesting and enjoyable.

Putting these 11 in exception, the fextinger remaining responses are the following:. The prediction [from 3 and 4 above] is that the larger the reward given to the subject, the smaller will be the subsequent opinion change.

It was explained to them that the Department of Psychology is carlsmlth the study and they are therefore required to serve in the experiments. The participants were 71 male students in totality. This point will be discussed further in connection with the results. Finally, many of the studies supporting the theory of cognitive dissonance have low ecological validity.

He did so in order to make it convincing that this was [p. The E then removed the tray and spools and placed in front of the S a board containing 48 square festijger. The results, according to the researchers, display the cognitive dissonance phenomenon. His task was to turn each peg a quarter turn clockwise, vestinger another quarter turn, and so on.

Each student was asked to again wait in the secretary’s office to see if people from Introductory Psychology did indeed festiger to interview him in order to glean information that might help in the better implementation of experimental programs in the future.

The interviewer, of course, was always kept in complete ignorance of which condition the S was in. Search over articles on psychology, science, and experiments. A sheet of paper headed “For Group B” was shown by the experimenter to the subject which outlined a role this associate was expected to perform in conveying enthusiam for the experimental tasks.

A scenario was presented where the experimenter’s usual associate had been unable to attend for an upcoming session where a positive introduction to the tasks was to be given to the next subject.


This article may be too technical for most readers to understand. This, however, was unlikely in this experiment because money was used for the reward and it is undoubtedly difficult to convince oneself that one dollar is more than it really is. Individuals in the low-dissonance group chose between a desirable product and one rated 3 points lower on an 8-point scale. One of the questions that Festinger and Carlsmith were aiming to answer is how enjoyable were the tasks for the participants.

A common way to reduce dissonance is to increase the attractiveness of the chosen alternative and to decrease the attractiveness of the rejected alternative.

In Festinger and Carlsmith’s classic study, undergraduate students of Introductory Psychology at Stanford University were asked, during the first week of the course, to take part of a series of experiments. Also, the majority of experiments used students as participants, which raise issues of a biased sample.

This study consisted of sixty-sixty male college students who were asked to record a counter-attitudinal statement concerning a serious issue.

Students were urged to cooperate in these interviews by being completely and honest. In the ‘severe embarrassment’ condition, they had to carlamith aloud obscene words and a very explicit sexual passage.

Cognitive Dissonance

Three S s one in the One Dollar and two in the Twenty Dollar condition refused to take the money and refused ffestinger be hired. Because of the desirability of investigating this possible alternative explanation, we recorded on a tape recorder the conversation between each S and the girl.

Forced compliance theory is a paradigm that is closely related to cognitive dissonance theory. Aim To investigate the relationship between dissonance and effort.

After a delay of several minutes the experimenter returned to the secretary’s office. Leon Festinger and James M. The fee was paid and a receipt festibger signed by the subject. Kelmanin the previously mentioned study, in attempting to explain the unexpected finding that the persons who complied in the moderate reward condition changed their opinion more than in the high reward condition, also proposed the same kind of explanation.