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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At the close of the interview the S was asked what he thought the experiment was about and, following this, was asked festingre whether or not he was suspicious of anything and, if so, what he was suspicious of. The mean ratings for the One Dollar and Twenty Dollar conditions, averaging the ratings of the two independent raters, are presented in Table 2. A rating of how persuasive and convincing the S was in what he said festingwr the way in which he said it.

The dissonance could, consequently, be reduced by magnifying the importance of this cognition. He did so in order to make it convincing that this was [p.

Classics in the History of Psychology — Festinger & Carlsmith ()

Only recently has there been any experimental work related to this question. From our point of view the experiment had hardly started.

And, indeed, in the Control condition the average rating was. If the results of our experiment are to be taken as strong corroboration of the theory of cognitive dissonance, this possible alternative explanation must be dealt with.

One of the questions that Festinger and Carlsmith were aiming to answer is how enjoyable were the tasks for the participants. For the two highest levels of commitment identified video recordings participants who received low pay exhibited more attitude change.

Festinger and Carlsmith’s study focussed its attention on 71 male students who participated in an experiment allegedly dealing with “Measures of Performance.

The interviewer, of course, was always kept in complete ignorance of which condition the S was in.

Cognitive Dissonance

Putting these 11 in exception, the 60 remaining responses are the following:. The data from 11 of the 71 S s in the experiment had to be discarded for the following carlsmitth. Wikipedia articles that are too technical from December All articles that are too technical Articles needing expert attention from December All articles needing expert attention Wikipedia articles needing clarification from November In this way, they propose, the person who is forced to acrlsmith a speech convinces himself.


We mentioned in the introduction that Janis and King ; in explaining their findings, proposed an explanation in terms of the self-convincing effect of mental rehearsal [p. The ratings were of course done in ignorance of which condition each S was in.

Cognitive Dissonance Theory

In other words, they were more likely than participants in the other two conditions to increase the attractiveness of the chosen alternative and to decrease the attractiveness of the unchosen alternative.

Let us consider a person who privately holds opinion “X” but has, as a result of pressure brought to bear on him publicly stated that he believes “not X. The Control condition gives us, essentially, the reactions of S s to the 1995 and their opinions about the experiment as falsely explained to them, without the experimental introduction of dissonance. A person could convince themself that it is better to “live for today” than to “save for tomorrow. This was rated in the same way as for the content before the remark.

The experimenter suggested that he had talked to the Professor in charge of the experiment and had got his clearance to ask the subject to take on the role of the associate and the Professor had agreed that this would be in order.

The subjects were divided into two groups, A featinger B, where Group A was provided no introduction regarding the tasks they will be performing and Group B was. In all the comparisons, the Control condition should be regarded as a baseline from which to evaluate the results in the other two conditions.

One of the major weaknesses of the data is that not all subjects in the experiment carlsmitg an overt statement contrary to their private opinion in order to obtain the offered reward. Results Participants in the ‘severe embarrassment’ condition gave the most positive rating. The 71 subjects were informed that the experiment focuses on the “Measures of Performance.

We felt it was important to show that the effect was not a completely general one but was specific to the content of the dissonance which was created. In this way, he would be decreasing the importance of the dissonant cognition smoking is bad for one’s health. Acquire new information that outweighs the dissonant beliefs. Up to this point the procedure was identical for S s in all conditions. This study involved 71 male students from Stanford University. Method Female participants were informed they would be helping out in a study funded by several manufacturers.


They were told that the study aims to evaluate these experiments to help them improve these in the future. The remaining subjects were asked to take the place of an experimenter, if they would want to. This study consisted of two 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.

The effect of severity of initiation on liking for a group. The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 58 2 The results from this question are shown in the last row of Table 1. Retrieved from ” https: Their data, however, are not included in the analysis. When someone is forced to do publicly something they privately really don’t want to do, dissonance is created between their cognition I didn’t want to do this and their behavior I did it.

But nevertheless, the possibility exists that the S s n the One Dollar condition may have improvised more. It is clear from examining the table that, in all cases, the Twenty Dollar condition is slightly higher The differences are small, however, and only on the rating of “amount of time” does the difference between the two conditions even approach significance. One involved adolescents and adults and another involved high school-aged participants.

There are also individual differences in whether or not people act as this theory predicts. 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.

In this study, researchers manipulated three variables that were expected to influence attitude change under compulsion. At the beginning of the study, “public” subjects signed a document in which they vowed to preserve their counter-attitudinal position outside of the study.

Don’t have time for it all now? It emerged in the field of social psychology.