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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This question was included because there was a chance that differences might emerge. The private opinions of the subjects concerning the experience were then determined. The effect of severity of initiation on liking for a group.

Thus, if the overt behavior was brought about by, say, offers of reward or threats of punishment, the magnitude of dissonance is maximal if these promised rewards or threatened punishments were just barely sufficient to induce the person to say “not X. 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.

Festinger & Carlsmith Cognitive dissonance consequences of forced compliance

One S in the One Festinver conditionimmediately after having talked to the girl, demanded her phone number saying he would call her and explain things, and also told the E he wanted to wait until she was finished so he could tell her about it.

From this point on, the procedure for all three conditions was once more identical.

The results are weakly in line with what one would expect if the dissonance were somewhat reduced in this manner. Because of the desirability of investigating this possible alternative explanation, we recorded on a tape recorder the conversation between each S and the girl.

Cognitive dissonance

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. These three variables were public-private, true-persuasive, and high-low financial motivation. We will have more to say concerning this explanation in discussing the results of our experiment.

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The average ratings on this question, presented in the first row of figures in Table 1, are the results most important to the experiment. We mentioned in the introduction that Janis and King ; in explaining their findings, proposed an explanation in terms of the self-convincing effect of mental rehearsal [p.

The data from 11 of the 71 S s in the experiment had to be discarded for the following reasons:. Cognitive xarlsmith refers to a situation involving conflicting attitudes, beliefs or behaviors. The hour which the S spent working on the repetitive, monotonous tasks was intended to provide, for each S uniformly, an experience about which he would have a somewhat negative opinion.

Forced compliance theory – Wikipedia

Share this page on your website: The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 59 2 Forced compliance theory is essentially a subset of cognitive dissonance theory.

There remain, for analysis, 20 S s in each of the thee conditions. For example, thinking smoking causes lung festingerr will cause dissonance if a person smokes.

During the first week of the course, when the requirement of serving in experiments was announced and explained to the students, the instructor also told them about a study that calsmith department was conducting. European Journal of Social Psychology. However, there is a problem from a scientific point of view, because we cannot physically observe cognitive dissonanceand therefore we cannot objectively measure it re: The S worked at this task for another half hour.

A positive answer was given and the experimenter again thanked the subject and left. The prediction [from 3 and 4 above] is that the larger the reward given to the subject, the smaller will be the subsequent opinion change. In conclusion, people, when persuaded to lie without being given enough justification, will perform a task by convincing themselves of the falsehood, rather than telling a lie.

Login Sign Up Privacy Policy. Festinger and Carlsmith’s study focussed its attention on 71 male students who participated in an experiment allegedly dealing with “Measures of Performance. Retrieved from ” https: The variability is greater, however, and the differences do not yield high levels of statistical significance.

The reliabilities of carlsnith ratings, that is, the correlations between the festinber independent raters, ranged from. 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.


Two derivations from this theory are tested here. The results showed a significant difference between the groups. A scenario was presented where the experimenter’s usual associate had been unable to attend for an upcoming session where a positive darlsmith to the tasks was to be given to the next subject.

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.

Carlsmiht study consisted of sixty-sixty festknger college students who were asked to record a counter-attitudinal statement concerning a serious issue. The results from this question are shown in the last row of Table 1. In all the comparisons, the Control condition should be regarded as a baseline from which to evaluate the results in the other two conditions.

The dissonance could, consequently, be reduced by magnifying the importance of this cognition. What is more, as one might expect, the percentage of subjects who complied increased as the size of the offered reward increased.

Cognitive Dissonance

Acquire new information that outweighs the dissonant beliefs. These made them question what the real purpose of the study is. To reduce festingrr dissonance, we are motivated to try to think that the task turned out well. Festinger and Carlsmith’s study now began to treat the 71 subjects in different ways such as to investigate the cognitive consequences of induced compliance to see whether there would be any evidence of Cognitive Dissonance, where the student concerned was psychologically di-stressed between his actual views and the role he found himself taking on in compliance with the performance of the tasks set by the experimenter.

Is it a perception as ‘cognitive’ suggestsor a feeling, or a feeling about a perception?