Cognitive Dissonance Essay Examples
This experience is termed cognitive dissonance. Altruistic types of behaviors can result from feelings associated with cognitive dissonance as to alleviate the discomfort that coincides with behaving in ways that conflict with beliefs and/or attitudes. Possibly similar to the participants in the experiment, a person may naturally want to sacrifice a certain amount of money to save themselves from a shock but then they may feel cognitive dissonance, such as guilt, for being morally selfish and lead to the altruistic behavior of spending more money on another person. Causing pain to others is a rather immoral act in modern society and placing a higher value on yourself over others is perceived in society as a person being selfish and egocentric. Altruistic action alleviates discomforts of cognitive dissonance that results from doing actions that society has deemed immoral and …show more content…
Next, participants the were randomly assigned to the roll of “decider” or “receiver” by drawing lots, meaning that the research was of an experimental design. To maintain anonymity and confidentiality of the participants and their decisions that were made, the researchers emphasized that their decisions would be confidential, that they were alone while making their decisions, and that they were only going to be identified by their ID number, ensuring that their identity was truly anonymous. The researchers partly exhibited so much effort to maintain anonymity amongst the participants to ensure the participants were not concerned that their reputations would be effected by what decisions they had made. Therefor, the researchers were able to assume that “when making decisions about pain for self and others, most people truly preferred to avoid harming others more than themselves.” (Crocket).
The “decider” participants were then asked to make a series of decisions between different amounts of money and different amounts of moderately painful electric shocks. The shocks were administered by an electric stimulation device called a Digitimeter, which is placed on the wrist of participants. The device is capable of administering shocks from a wide range of electric current levels. The different amounts of money and different amounts of moderately painful electric