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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1 Title of Paper Student Name Course/Number Due Date Faculty Name Detailed expectations for a Masters Level Course (remove this line) 2 Title of Paper Triple click your mouse anywhere in this paragraph to replace this text with your introduction. Often the most important paragraph in the entire essay, the introduction grabs the reader's attention—sometimes a difficult task for academic writing. When writing an introduction, some approaches are best avoided. Avoid starting sentences with “The purpose of this essay is . . .” or “In this essay I will . . .” or any similar flat announcement of your intention or topic. Read more: Center for Writing Excellence>Tutorials and Guides>Essay Development>Guidelines for Writing Academic Essays. Level One Heading Replace the level one heading with the words for your heading. The heading must be in bold font. Headings are a necessary part of helping your audience track the sub-topics discussed in the body of the essay or report. Be sure to indent the first line of each paragraph between five and seven spaces by pressing the Tab key one time on the keyboard. In addition, remember to double space the entire paper using the double space functionality in Word. This template is already formatted for double spacing. Read more: Center for Writing Excellence>Tutorials and Guides>Software Tutorials and Guides>Formatting Tutorial for APA. In addition, keep in mind an academic essay should contain at least five paragraphs, which includes the introduction (introductory paragraph), the body (which is generally at least three paragraphs), and the conclusion (generally one paragraph). Most well-developed paragraphs contain at least three – five sentences, one of which is the topic sentence. Limit each body paragraph to one sub-topic. 3 Level Two Heading Replace the level two heading with the words for your heading. The heading must be in bold font. Level three heading. Replace the level three heading with the words for your heading. The heading must be in bold font. Most master’s level papers will be sufficient with three levels of heading. Delete the following level four and five heading placeholders if not needed. Level four heading. Replace the level four heading with the words for your heading. The heading must be italicized and in bold font. Level five heading. Replace the level five heading with the words for your heading. The heading must be italicized. Conclusion The closing paragraph is designed to bring the reader to your way of thinking if you are writing a persuasive essay, to understand relationships if you are writing a comparison/contrast essay, or simply to value the information you provide in an informational essay. The closing paragraph summarizes the key points from the supporting paragraphs without introducing any new information. 4 References This is a hanging indent. To keep the hanging indent format, triple click your mouse on this line of text and replace the information with your reference entry. You can use the Reference and Citation Examples (Center for Writing Excellence>Tutorials and Guides>Reference and Citation Examples) to help format your source information into a reference entry. The reference page always begins on the top of the next page after the conclusion. ...
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School: Cornell University



Festinger and Carlsmith’s (1959) Cognitive Dissonance Work
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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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