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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The influence of role-playing on opinion change.

The difference between the One Dollar and Twenty Dollar conditions is significant at the. From our point carldmith view the experiment had hardly started.

European Journal of Social Psychology. 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. There are, after all, other ways in which the experimentally created dissonance could be reduced.

What happens to a person’s private opinion if he is forced to do or say something contrary to that opinion?

Festinger & Carlsmith Cognitive dissonance consequences of forced compliance

The secretary had left the office. For the two highest levels of commitment identified video recordings participants who received low pay exhibited more attitude change. Findings Participants in the high-dissonance condition spread apart the alternatives significantly more than did the participants in the other two conditions.

The theory of cognitive dissonance has been widely researched in a number of situations to develop the basic idea in more detail, and various factors that have been identified which may be important in attitude change.

The subject was then taken into the secretary’s room where he 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.


In the control condition, of course, the girl was not there. A common way to reduce dissonance is to increase the attractiveness of the chosen alternative and to decrease the attractiveness of the rejected alternative.

Cognitive dissonance

A Theory of festunger dissonance. All 71 of the students received this same treatment of a short wait in the secretary’s office, of performing the two tasks, and then of the ‘explanation’ being offered about their own role being that of being part of a control group in contradistinction to others who had experienced a positive introduction to the tasks by the experimenter’s associate.

Why this might have been the case is, of course, not immediately apparent.

These S s were hired for twenty dollars to do the same thing. This study consisted of two experiments. Almost all of the carlsmoth agreed to walk into the waiting room and persuade the confederate that the boring experiment would be fun. In the study, undergraduate students of Introductory Psychology at Stanford University were asked to take part of a series of experiments.

Cognitive Dissonance

There is also some ambiguity i. Either way, you would experience dissonance. 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 second area is whether the experiment gave the participant an opportunity to discover their own skills, using the scale of 0 to A positive answer was given and the experimenter again thanked the subject and left.

Furthermore, since the pressure to reduce dissonance will be a function of the magnitude of the dissonance, the observed opinion change should be greatest when the pressure used to elicit the overt behavior is just sufficient to do it. Let us review these briefly: This produces a feeling of mental discomfort leading to an alteration in one of the attitudes, beliefs or behaviors to reduce the discomfort and restore balance.


It is also a strong motivational tool in influencing us to choose one action or thought over another.

Cognitive Dissonance and Festinger & Carlsmith’s Study

The Research Council of Norway. This question was included because there was a chance that differences might emerge. Up to this point the procedure was identical for S s in all conditions.

The E then paid the S one dollar twenty dollarsmade out a hand-written receipt form, and asked the S to sign it. Certainly, the more interesting and enjoyable they felt the tasks were, the greater would be their desire to participate in a similar experiment.

In this course, students are required to spend a certain number of hours as subjects S s in experiments. It 19959 us to measure the opinions of our Ss in a context not directly connected with our experiment and in which we could reasonably expect frank and honest expressions of opinion.

This question is less directly related to the dissonance that was experimentally created for the S s. Five S s three in the One Dollar and two in the Twenty Dollar condition indicated in the interview that they were suspicious about having been paid to tell festingerr girl the experiment was fun and suspected that that was the real purpose of the experiment.

Method Female participants were informed they would festinter helping out in a study funded by several manufacturers. The larger the pressure used to elicit the [p.