Bem’s self-perception theory

Jun 18th, 2015
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Another problem with dissonance theory has been the difficulty of measuring the psychological tension that dissonance presumably creates. How do some psychological know that such a state of tension arises? Couldn’t attitude change be produced without such inner conflict? Daryl Bem (1967) is one researcher who thinks that it could be, and often is. Bem’s self-perception theory is based on the idea that we come to know others’ attitudes through inference. For instance, if we observe shoppers buying a certain brand of coffee and that brand is not on sale, we are likely to conclude that they must like the way that brand of coffee taste. If, however, we observe shoppers eagerly buying the same product in a television commercial, we are not likely to make the same inference. The paid actors in the commercial have an ulterior motive that ordinary shoppers do not. both behavior and situation are therefore relevant to an assessment of the opinions of others.

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Bems self-perception theoryAnother problem with dissonance theory has been the difficulty of measuring the psychological tension that dissonance presumably creates. How do some psychological know that such a state of tension arises? Couldnt attitude change be produced without such inner conflict? Daryl Bem (1967) is one researcher who thinks that it could be, and often is.Bems self-perception theory is based on the idea that we come to know others attitudes through inference. For instance, if we observe shoppers buying a certain brand of coffee and that brand is not on sale, we are likely to conclude that they must like the way that brand of coffee taste. If, however, we observe shoppers eagerly buying the same product in a television commercial, we are not likely to make the same inference. The paid actors in the commercial have an ulterior motive that ordinary shoppers do not. both behavior and situation are therefore relevant to an assessment of the opinions of others. Bem goes on to suggest that we often use the same strategy to assess our own attitudes. At times, he says, we are not very sure of our own opinions. As a result, we must look to our behavior and circumstances surrounding it to know how we feel.Suppose, for instance, that someone asks you if you like lamb stew-a question to which most people do not have a ready answer, because they dont eat lamb stew very often. You might think to your self: I eat a large serving of lamb stew a

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