Leon Festinger and James Carlsmith proposed the term cognitive dissonance which is Every individual has his or her Festinger, L. and Carlsmith, J. M. ( ). The following article by Leon Festinger and James M. Carlsmith is the classic study on Reprinted from Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, , 58, . Forced compliance theory is a paradigm that is closely related to cognitive dissonance theory. Leon Festinger and James M. Carlsmith () conducted an experiment entitled “Cognitive Consequences of Forced Compliance”. This study.

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Forced compliance theory is the idea that authority or some other perceived higher-ranking person can force a lower-ranked individual to make statements or perform acts that violate their better judgment.

Classics in the History of Psychology — Festinger & Carlsmith ()

That is, in the One Dollar condition they may have rehearsed it more mentally, thought up more ways of saying it, may have said it more convincingly, and so on. The E then removed the tray and spools and placed in front of the S a board containing 48 square pegs. Leon Festinger and James M. The variability is greater, however, and the differences do not yield high levels of statistical significance.

Subjects were subjected to a boring experience and then paid to tell someone that the experience had been interesting and enjoyable. When there is an inconsistency between attitudes or behaviors dissonancesomething must change to eliminate the dissonance. As may be seen, the questions varied in how directly relevant they were to what the S had told the girl.


For example, one way would be for the S to magnify for himself the value caflsmith the festinget he obtained. European Journal of Social Psychology. Thus, if the overt behavior was brought about by, say, offers of reward or threats of punishment, the magnitude of dissonance is maximal if these promised rewards or threatened punishments were just barely sufficient to induce the person to say “not X.

The resulting dissonance could, of festinget, most directly be reduced by persuading themselves that the tasks were, indeed, interesting and enjoyable. Cognitive dissonance theory describes the unpleasant feeling that results from believing two contrary ideas at the same time. The interviewer, of course, was always kept in complete ignorance of which condition the S was in.

It has the advantage of being testable by scientific means i. All 71 of the students received this same treatment of a short wait in the secretary’s office, of performing the festingef tasks, and then of the ‘explanation’ being offered about their own role being that of being part of a control group in contradistinction to others who had experienced 195 positive introduction to the tasks by the experimenter’s associate.

The discussion between the S and the girl was recorded on a hidden tape recorder.

Forced compliance theory

If you took the job you would miss your loved ones; if you turned the job down, you would pine for the beautiful streams, mountains, and valleys. This person has two cognitions which, psychologically, do not fit together: Forced compliance theory is essentially a subset of cognitive dissonance theory. The present experiment was designed to test this derivation under controlled, laboratory conditions.


A fraction of the subjects were thanked and let go after being interviewed by another experimenter regarding ways on how the presentation of the boring tasks can be improved for future purposes.

They were told that the study aims to evaluate these experiments to help them improve these in the future. The said group served as the control group of the experiment.

Hence, the alternative explanation discussed above cannot account for the findings. Leave this field blank: The difference between the One Dollar condition and the Twenty Dollar condition.

In the ‘severe embarrassment’ condition, they had to read aloud obscene words and a very explicit sexual passage.

Cognitive dissonance

I do not like Fred; I agreed to give him a ride to a job interview. The five ratings were:.

Don’t have time for it all now? The major results of the experiment are summarized in Table 1 which lists, separately for each of the three experimental conditions, the average rating which the S s gave at the end of each question on the interview. Because of the desirability of investigating this possible alternative 1995, we recorded on a tape recorder the conversation between each S and the girl.

They present some evidence, which is not altogether conclusive, in support of this explanation. Search over articles on psychology, science, and experiments.

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