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Dissonance, social consequences and methods of conflict resolution

Ellen M. Jastrebski, PhD (St. Thomas More College)


Resolution of cognitive dissonance following a pleasant and unpleasant task was examined under conditions of high and low justification. Sixty male subjects either wrote numbers at random, or rated a series of feminine photos, watched a film, and decided a verdict on a court case. Justification was varied by the offer of monetary payment or lack of such payment prior to a request for counterattitudinal description of the task. All subjects described the task to the next subject (confederate), a peer. Both task and justification main effects were observed (p < 0.01) indicating mode of dissonance resolution to be a function of situational variables. Changes in task ratings supported dissonance theory predictions only when consequences of the advocacy were unequivocally negative.

Full Text: PDF  pp. 81-90