Essay about Cognitive Dissonance Theory Of Social Support

1219 Words Dec 1st, 2016 5 Pages
Discussion
To better understand Festinger’s (1957) cognitive dissonance theory, specifically with regard to the role social support plays in reducing dissonance, we used the Nail et al. (2010, March) role playing paradigm in which the participants were stood up by a platonic friend (Chris). Hypothesis 1 stated that insufficient participants would experience much more dissonance than sufficient participants. Hypothesis 2 went on to say, moreover, that nested within the insufficient justification condition, the four cells (zero, one, two, or three friends, respectively) would show a negative linear relationship between social support and dissonance. Both of our hypotheses were supported. In support of hypothesis 1, sufficient participants’ level of dissonance (M=2.49) was significantly less than insufficient participants (M=8.05). With the introduction of social support in hypothesis 2, we found dissonance was reduced: zero friends (M=8.05) one friend (M=7.86) two friends (M=7.35) and three friends (M=6.90). The classic view on cognitive dissonance theory regarding sufficient/insufficient justification holds that, in the process of decision making, people should handle the unpleasantness of having rejected an attractive alternative based on how good the incentive was for them to do so (Festinger & Carlsmith, 1959). For example, in the classic Festinger and Carlsmith experiment regarding a boring peg-rotating activity, if the incentive was good (a twenty-dollar bribe to tell…

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