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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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.

Cognitive dissonance

Both alternatives have their good points and bad points. He then left saying he would return in a couple of minutes. Method In their laboratory experiment, they used 71 male students as participants to perform a series of dull tasks such as turning pegs in a peg board for an hour.

The E then removed the tray and spools and placed in front of the S a board containing 48 square pegs.

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

The results from this question are shown in the last row of Table 1. Conflict, decision, and dissonance Vol. The third asks whether that subject finds the activity important, again using the scale of 0 to Festinger and Carlsmith – cognitive dissonanceCognitive consequences of Forced Compliance.

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. Cognitive dissonance is one form of social comparison.

When one of the dissonant elements is a behavior, the individual can change or eliminate the behavior. Why this might have been the case is, of course, not immediately apparent. These S s were treated identically in all respects to the S s in the experimental conditions, except that they were never asked to, and never did, tell the waiting girl that the experimental tasks were enjoyable and lots of fun. 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.


Leon Festinger and James Carlsmith conducted a festihger on cognitive dissonance investigating on the cognitive consequences of forced compliance. When the interview was over, the interviewer brought the S back to the experimental room where the E was waiting together with the girl who had posed as the waiting S. 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.

All experimental S s in both One Dollar and Twenty Dollar conditions were asked, after this explanation, to return the money they had [p. This question was included because there was a chance that differences festimger emerge. A Theory of cognitive dissonance.

Cognitive Dissonance Theory | Simply Psychology

In Festinger and Carlsmith’s experiment, 11 of the 71 responses were considered invalid for a couple of reasons. The students were asked to perform a tedious task involving using one hand to turn small spools a quarter clockwise turn. This study involved 71 male students from Stanford University. About a third of subjects were released from the experiment at this point after being thanked by the experimenter, who also expressed the hope that the subject had enjoyed the experienceand being interviewed by someone from the psychology department ostensibly with the view of improving the presentation of experiments in the future.

He was told to use one hand and to work at his own speed. This article is a fetinger of the guide: Individuals in the low-dissonance group chose between a desirable product and one rated 3 points lower on an 8-point scale.

After a delay 19599 several minutes the experimenter returned to the secretary’s office. They were urged to cooperate fwstinger these interviews by being completely and honest.

Thus, if the overt behavior was brought about by, say, offers of reward or threats of punishment, the magnitude of dissonance is maximal if these promised rewards or threatened punishments were just barely sufficient to induce the person to say “not X. The results, according to the researchers, display the cognitive dissonance phenomenon. Aim To investigate the relationship between dissonance and effort. This study consisted of sixty-sixty male college students who were asked to record a counter-attitudinal statement concerning a serious issue.

Group B was given introduction by an experimenter, presenting the tasks in an interesting and enjoyable tone.


The ratings were of course done in ignorance of which condition each S was in. The subject was then taken into the secretary’s room where carlskith was expected to converse with this “next subject” with the view of attempting to get across the points that he had read on the sheet of paper headed “For Group B. The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 52 3 At the interviewer’s office door the experimenter asked the interviewer whether he wished to interview the subject.

Conclusion If a frstinger experience which has cost a lot of effort turns festinget badly, dissonance is reduced by redefining the experience as interesting. It is also a strong motivational tool in influencing us to choose one action or thought over another.

No problem, save it as a course and come back to it later. According to Festinger festingre Carlsmith, the participants experienced dissonance between the conflicting cognitions of telling someone that a particular task is interesting when the truth is, they found it rather uninteresting and boring. The remaining subjects were asked to take the place of an experimenter, if they would want festingef. Could we generalize the results from such experiments? The results showed a significant difference between fesringer groups.

The discussion between the S and the girl was recorded on a hidden tape recorder. He did this for one-half hour. Finally, many of the studies supporting the theory of cognitive dissonance have low ecological validity. Cognitive consequences of forced compliance. This associate festinber presented to “Group B” students taking part in the experiment as being another student who had just finished his own experimental session.

Let us review these briefly: European Journal of Social Psychology. For example, when people smoke behavior and they know that smoking causes cancer cognitionthey are in a state of cognitive dissonance. The true purpose of the experiment was then explained to the S in detail, and the reasons for each of the various steps in the experiment were explained carefully in relation to the true purpose.