Jacobs, J., & Eccles, J. Bushman, B. We cannot be sure, but some evidence points to biology. Once I have shot dissenting students at Kent State, I will try to convince myself they really deserved it, and I will hate dissenting students even more than I did before I shot them. 20–21. What they did was misremember how bad they were before taking the course. By throwing the successive switches, the teacher will deliver an increasingly intense shock each time the learner fails to answer correctly. Words that work. Thomas had her subjects watch either a violent police drama or an exciting but nonviolent volleyball game. Johnston, W. A. For example, several years ago, the Northwest Mutual Life Insurance Company conducted a nationwide poll to find out how well the public recognized its name. From all over the area, myriad flickering lights were converging on a single point. The discussion of cognitive dissonance in Chapter 5 has taught us that people sometimes justify their behavior by changing their previously held attitudes.) However, if some of the participants think the arousal they are experiencing is due to the pill, they won’t need to alter their attitudes to feel better about themselves. Needless to say, you are frightened. In short, you will adopt a more lenient attitude. See also School; Social learning cooperative learning in, 346–355 empathy, 298–299 to reduce prejudice, 338–340 rewards in, 217–219 self-esteem and, 238 testing in fear of rejection and, 381 stereotype threat and, 320–322 vs. propaganda, 71–73 Egocentric thought, 173–176 Ego defenses, 178. The manner in which they will distort and the intensity of their distortion are highly predictable. The condensed version of this transcript was arranged so that all of the pro argu- Mass Communication, Propaganda, and Persuasion 97 ments were placed in one block and all of the con arguments were placed in another block. But, as with those who praise us, we do not always like people who do favors for us; specifically, we do not like people whose favors seem to have strings attached to them. Academia.edu is a platform for academics to share research papers. Sandra Barnes testified that she had seen a man who looked like Hennis using a bank card that police had identified earlier as one stolen from the Eastburn residence. That is, to justify giving up a good grade, you must convince yourself that cheating is a heinous sin, one of the lowest things a person can do, and that cheaters should be found out and severely punished. Occasionally, however, the need to reduce dissonance (the need to convince oneself that one is right or good) leads to behavior that is maladaptive and therefore irrational. Although the partners in a communal relationship are not totally unconcerned about achieving a rough kind of equity, they are relaxed about it and have faith that, over the long haul, some semblance of equity will fall into place. Asch, S. (1946). I performed such an experiment in collaboration with Ben Willerman and Joanne Floyd.24 The participants were college men at the University of Minnesota. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 36, 1202–1212. New York: Academic Press. This was accomplished by building up the expectation that they would be shown a series of entertaining movies and be allowed to have fun. Thus, the nature of our response may very well depend on whether we believe preventive steps will genuinely increase our sense of control over the inevitable. Recall in Chapter 2 we found that the greater the reward for compliance, the greater the probability that a person will comply. * But Herr’s experiment didn’t stop there. 45. Some subjects heard the first confederate call the black lawyer a “nigger,” while other subjects heard the confederate call him a “shyster.” In both conditions, the second confederate expressed agreement with the first confederate’s derogatory opinion of the black lawyer. Dunbar’s sensitivity to the potential victims of his bombs is especially poignant, given the distance and anonymity afforded by his position high in the sky above the villagers. He knew the material, but he was very nervous and was having a very hard time. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage. He taught me something much more valuable than that: He taught me how to find out the things that neither I nor anybody else knew. Oxford: Blackwell. But if he advised me to embark on a program of vigorous exercise requiring 2 hours every day, I would be inclined to write him off as a quack, a health freak, a monomaniac—and I could comfortably continue being indolent. In J. Bryant & D. Zillman (Eds. Children who simply don’t have toys do not necessarily aggress. Dollard, J. Petty, R. E., Schumann, D. W., Richman, S. A., & Strathman, A. We might insert a decoy. Picture the scene: Seven-year-old Rachel spots her favorite cereal, Lucky Charms, takes a box off the shelf, and quietly delivers it to the shopping cart. 304 The Social Animal Mr. X: That shows they are always trying to buy favor and intrude into Christian affairs. Similarly, my colleagues and I found that males with a moderate degree of self-esteem are most likely to prefer the highly competent person who commits a blunder, while males with low self-esteem (who apparently feel little competitiveness with the 370 The Social Animal stimulus person) prefer the highly competent person who doesn’t blunder.26 I want to emphasize that no sizable proportion of people, regardless of their own level of self-esteem, preferred the mediocre person. Likewise, most of us, from our own experience, would guess that, if we overheard someone saying nice things about us (behind our backs), we would tend to like that person—all other things being equal. Originally published in The New Yorker, January 18, 1964. (1966). In short, we like people who contribute to our victory more than those who do not, even if they had no intention of doing us a favor. Several years ago, I picked up a copy of The New Yorker magazine, in which I read an excellent, highly informative essay by James Kunen1 about college-level educational programs in our prisons. My guess is that you would quickly write him off as an inconsiderate slob and try to make arrangements to move to a different room. Smokers who are painfully aware of the health hazards associated with smoking may reduce dissonance in yet another way—by minimizing the extent of their habit. Well, unless you are very careful, you will see one very smart, knowledgeable person and one rather stupid person. The experimenter then retired to the next room through an unlocked collapsible curtain, saying she would return when they finished the questionnaire. At the same time, the Director of Homeland Security has warned us to be vigilant but not to let that interfere with our day-to-day lives. Forming impressions of personality. Kahneman and Tversky have noted that people dislike losses and seek to avoid them. As you may have noticed, there is a curious difference between the responses of children facing a disliked vegetable or college students facing an inevitable interaction with another person, on the one hand, and the responses of UCLA students to the threat of an impending earthquake, on the other hand. In fact, research has demonstrated that similar processes can even affect our romantic relationships and our willingness to consider becoming involved with alternative partners. She already knows her husband thinks she’s attractive; chances are she will not turn cartwheels at hearing about it for the thousandth time. Aronson, E., & Osherow, N. (1980). He never read it, and, to my knowledge, he was not even aware that I was writing it. When lovers express their feelings without judging the other person as being wrong, insensitive, or uncaring, escalation rarely follows. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 27, 165–175. 39. I make this point because of a bizarre political event. . They consistently found that attitudes that are made accessible in this manner became predictive of subsequent behavior to a far greater extent than attitudes that are not made accessible. ), contributed to the arousal of intense emotions in viewers and doubtless served to reduce the possibility of any real debate about the wisdom of invading Afghanistan. Windows, of course, work in both directions: We often derive hypotheses from everyday life. Indeed, such individuals are more likely to try to defend the victims of bullying. The argument was erudite, powerful, and, as you might imagine, widely discrepant from their beliefs. . For example, the following are actual written reports given by drivers involved in automobile accidents.102 As can be seen, the self-serving bias is much in evidence. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 21(5), 480–490. Invited address, meeting of the Western Psychological Association. Nelson, E. L., & Simpson, P. (1994). Rather, they may simply be observing their own behavior in a cool, calm, and dispassionate way, and drawing a conclusion from their observations. This general phenomenon is not limited to a blind date. Changes in interpersonal perception as a means of reducing cognitive dissonance. But what happens if there is not ample justification in the situation itself? The disconcerting aspect of these data is the strong possibility that such preferential treatment contains the seeds of a self-fulfilling prophecy: We know that the way people are treated affects the way they come to think of themselves. B. ), Agenda setting: Readings on media, public opinion, and policy-making (pp. The impact of Roots, The Day After, and the O. J. Simpson trial extended far beyond their most obvious effects as documentaries or court dramas. Let us look at the issue in a bit more detail. For the next year, Pierce said, he was subjected to “verbal slurs, insults [and] derogatory remarks,” including taunting by other firefighters who barked like dogs and asked him how dog food tasted. In effect, then, the long-term lover has power to hurt the one he or she loves—but very little power to offer an important reward. I learned how to ask important questions and do the experiments to find the answers to those questions—contributing, in my own small way, to the body of knowledge that I had read about as a student. First glimpse: An invited examination of subjects who have rejected their recovered visualizations as false memories. Because there was no investment of effort in obtaining this room, there is no dissonance; because there is no dissonance, there is no need for you to see your roommate in the best possible light. If that were the case, then it wasn’t the program that caused the lower recidivism. New York: McGraw-Hill. Your cognition “I am a decent, fair, and reasonable person” would be dissonant with your cognition “I have hurt another person.” If the harm is clear, then you cannot reduce the dissonance by changing your opinion on the issue, thus con*The astute reader may have noticed a connection between this study and one discussed earlier in this chapter, in which people who broke their New Year’s resolutions felt bad about themselves for failing and later played down the importance of the resolutions. After a couple of weeks, the other children realized that Carlos was a lot smarter than they had thought he was. Princeton’s star player was an All-American running back named Dick Kazmaier; as the game progressed, it became increasingly clear that the Dartmouth players were out to get him. Social psychologists face a dilemma when their general ethical responsibility to society conflicts with their more specific ethical responsibility to each individual experimental participant; and to compound the situation, the conflict is greatest when investigating such important issues as conformity, obedience, helping, and the like because, in general, the more important the issue, (1) the greater the potential benefit for society, and (2) the more likely it is that an individual participant will experience discomfort, anxiety, or upset. The bonobo has been described by primatologists as more intelligent, more compassionate, more empathic, and more peaceful than the chimp, its genetically similarly cousin. A lady in distress: Inhibiting effects of friends and strangers on bystander intervention. Dishonest behavior as a function of differential levels of induced self-esteem. But we don’t want the book to get much fatter. Of course, this incident doesn’t prove conclusively that emotional appeals are superior, mainly because the incident was not a scientifically controlled study. Thus, those of us who have been in close contact with several women in jobs outside of the home are probably less susceptible to the stereotypes of women portrayed on television. Subtle forms of prejudice are also directed toward women. ), Attribution: Perceiving the causes of behavior (pp. Developmental Psychology, 33, 579–587. After a while, he begins looking at her with intense warmth and interest and says, with sincerity, that he finds her intelligent, witty, and attractive. This was an experiment performed by Irving Piliavin and his associates53 in one of the cars of a train in the New York City subway system. But Sam’s statement that he is feeling envious or angry is not a guess or a theory; it is an absolute fact. On the other hand, Nancy may attribute all kinds of characteristics or ulterior motives to her boss: She may conclude that her boss is being sarcastic, manipulative, dishonest, nondiscriminating, patronizing, seductive, or stupid—any one of which could reduce Nancy’s liking for him. But we didn’t stop there: We constructed an experiment in which we systematically investigated the size of the discrepancy and the credibility of the communicator in one research design.57 In this experiment, college women were asked to read several stanzas from obscure modern poetry and to rank them in terms of how good they were. Plous, S. (1993). Perhaps the best way to answer this question is to examine one laboratory experiment in great detail, considering its advantages and disadvantages, as well as an alternative, more realistic approach that might have been used to study the same issue. Gain and loss of esteem as determinants of interpersonal attractiveness. The students adore 168 The Social Animal Dr. Mensch. In a pioneering study, Morton Deutsch and Mary Ellen Collins82 examined the attitudes of whites toward blacks in public housing projects in 1951. Some years ago, CBS aired a film called Cry Rape. To illustrate, let’s look again at Solomon Asch’s classic experiment on conformity.12 Recall that, in this study, a student was assigned the task of judging the relative size of a few lines. ), Aggression, antisocial behavior, and violence among girls: A developmental perspective (pp. Social support and conformity: The role of independent assessment of reality. Wicker, A. W. (1969). How do you solve that problem? But there can be a downside to this kind of exposure, as well. This was not surprising. This is exactly what Danuta Ehrlich and her colleagues15 found in a wellknown survey of advertising readership. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 8, 377–383. (1988, October 24). Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 50, 339–357. 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