Title

Forced Compliance, Cognitive Dissonance, and Attitudes

Poster Number

42

Lead Author Major

Psychology

Format

Poster Presentation

Faculty Mentor Name

Gary Howells

Faculty Mentor Department

Psychology

Abstract/Artist Statement

Cognitive dissonance is characterized by the discomfort a person may experience when being forced to say something that is contradictory to their private opinion (Festinger & Carlsmith, 1957). Research has demonstrated that under certain circumstances a person’s private opinion may change to match their behavior Festinger & Carlsmith, 1957). The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of forced compliance on a person’s opinion. Participants were given a list of either positive or negative words and pictures of war. Participants were prompted to write a story using the list of words and pictures for five minutes. After completing their story they were asked to read it out loud. Upon completion participants were asked to fill out the Peterson-Thurstone War Attitude Scale and asked to rate pictures using the Self- Assessment Manikin (SAM) Scale for Valence. Preliminary analysis were conducted on a subset four individuals (Mean age= 20.5, SD= .58) indicated to significant differences regarding attitudes towards war. Moreover, no significant differences were found for participant’s scores on the SAM scale. Overall, this suggests that a person’s overt behavior does not affect a person’s private opinion, which is contradictory to past research.

Location

DeRosa University Center, Ballroom

Start Date

21-4-2011 6:00 PM

End Date

21-4-2011 8:00 PM

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Apr 21st, 6:00 PM Apr 21st, 8:00 PM

Forced Compliance, Cognitive Dissonance, and Attitudes

DeRosa University Center, Ballroom

Cognitive dissonance is characterized by the discomfort a person may experience when being forced to say something that is contradictory to their private opinion (Festinger & Carlsmith, 1957). Research has demonstrated that under certain circumstances a person’s private opinion may change to match their behavior Festinger & Carlsmith, 1957). The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of forced compliance on a person’s opinion. Participants were given a list of either positive or negative words and pictures of war. Participants were prompted to write a story using the list of words and pictures for five minutes. After completing their story they were asked to read it out loud. Upon completion participants were asked to fill out the Peterson-Thurstone War Attitude Scale and asked to rate pictures using the Self- Assessment Manikin (SAM) Scale for Valence. Preliminary analysis were conducted on a subset four individuals (Mean age= 20.5, SD= .58) indicated to significant differences regarding attitudes towards war. Moreover, no significant differences were found for participant’s scores on the SAM scale. Overall, this suggests that a person’s overt behavior does not affect a person’s private opinion, which is contradictory to past research.