Festinger and Carlsmith’s Theory of Cognitive Dissonance Assignment

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  1. Select one of the following classic studies in social psychology. While many of these studies are referenced in Social Beings, you may need to do additional research using the University Library or other resources.
    • Solomon Asch's (1940, 1956) classic work on normative influence and conformity; sometimes referred to as the Asch effect
    • Stanley Milgram's (1965, 1974) research on obedience and the situational variables that make obedience to authority more likely
    • Leon Festinger's (1957) study of cognitive dissonance or Festinger and Carlsmith's (1959) work on cognitive dissonance
    • Henri Tajfel and his colleague's (1971) work on the impact of minimal groups and ingroup bias
    • Muzafer Sherif and colleague's (1961) classic Robbers Cave study, including the concept of shared goals and the contact hypothesis
    • Darley and Latane's (1968) study of the bystander effect, including the concept of diffusion of responsibility and the conditions under which people are more or less likely to help
    • A different classic social psychology study approved by your course instructor
    Write a 1,050- to 1,400-word paper about a classic study in social psychology that includes the following information:
    • A summary of the study and how it was conducted
    • An explanation of the study results: What happened? Were there any unexpected findings? What did the authors conclude? What did the results mean, and what are their implications?
    • An explanation of how the concept situationism applies to the study results
    • Answers to the following questions:
    • Do you think the study results might have been different if the participants were from a different cultural, ethnic, or gender group? How so?
    • Do you think the results of the study are important and relevant to contemporary society? Explain.
    Format your paper according to APA guidelines.

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agneta
School: Cornell University

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Running head: COGNITIVE DISSONANCE WORK (1959)

Festinger and Carlsmith’s (1959) Cognitive Dissonance Work
Student Name
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COGNITIVE DISSONANCE WORK (1959)

1

Summary of Festinger and Carlsmith’s Theory of Cognitive Dissonance
The theory of cognitive dissonance has been broadly studied in quite several
institutions for its status quo to improve the simple idea in case of an additional factor. This
has also helped in improving various dynamics that have been recognized which may be
essential in attitude alteration. Attitude alteration is the reason behind having this great work
of social psychology. Festinger and Carlsmith (1959) advocate that every person has
instinctive drives to keep all his cognitions in a harmonious state and avoid a state of tension
or dissonance. The theory claims that if a sole individual happens to be in a state of
dissonance, there happens to be a feeling of discomfort which is automatically brought by the
conflict of perception from the individual. This always leads to an alteration in one of the
involved reasons for discomfort to reduce the conflict and bring a harmonious state once
again. This is the principal basis of the experiment of cognitive dissonance by the two
scientists. The summary of the theory holds that dissonance between two sets of ideas or
values is tension provoking for an individual. It also claims that various strain-reducing
techniques will be utilized by that individual to make the two sets in agreement with. The
work of this research was to investigate if making people perfor...

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