this is the theory which argues that attitudes will fit together or conflict and when they conflict will cause discomfort
important influence on our decisions is the need for consistency between our attitudes and cognitions especially when they are related
3 possible relationships for cognitions:
1. consonant cognitions fit easily together
2. dissonant cognitions that clash
3. irrelvant cognitions which clash
when they do clash we experience cognotive dissonance
Self perception theory
- bem (967) people infer attitudes and emotions etc. by observing their own behaviour
- if behaviours change then that must mean that attitudes have changed
Dissonance strenghts and weaknesses
Disengagement beliefs: support for one prediction of the theory that people may justify their own behaviour by saying it is out of their control is backed up by research.
Kleinjan et al (2009) teenager smokers reduced their cognotive dissonance by continuing smoking through justification. these believes were strongly negatively correlated with the motivation to quit.
Research support: males and females differ and studies have shown that women support cognotive dissoance when rejecting a job applicant because the act of rejecting is in conflict with the motive to affliate
Tolerance for inconsistency: many people do not mind their cognitions clashing unless they are really important etc.
Self perception strenghts and weaknesses
Self perception and therapy: self perception has helped people who suffer from hetrosocial anxiety. it has been used to help males by giving them interaction with women and their anxiety was reduced. showing that it is not an internal issue that they have
Cognotive dissonance better: studies have shown that dissonance when the beliefs are well established and the behaviours are inconsistent. self perception is better to explain weaker beliefs that clash with behaviour