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Do I Know What I’m Doing? Cognitive Dissonance and Action Identification Theory

Abstract : Our main purpose was to explore hypotheses derived from the Identification of Action Theory in a particular situation that is, a dissonant situation. Thus, we varied the identification (low versus high-level) of a problematic behavior (to stop speaking for 24 hours) in the forced compliance paradigm. Two modes of dissonance reduction were presented: cognitive rationalization (classical attitude-change) and behavioral rationalization (target behavior: to stop speaking for 48 hours). As predicted, the results showed that high-level identity of action leads to cognitive rationalization whereas low-level identity leads to behavioural rationalization. Thus, participants identifying the problematic behavior at a low-level were more inclined to accept the target behavior, compared with participants identifying their problematic behavior at a higher-level. These results are of particular interest for understanding the extent to which the understanding of the discrepant act interferes with the cognitive processes of dissonance reduction.
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https://hal-amu.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01622590
Contributor : Valérie Fointiat <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 3:00:51 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, February 7, 2019 - 2:41:55 PM

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Valérie Fointiat, Audrey Pelt. Do I Know What I’m Doing? Cognitive Dissonance and Action Identification Theory. Spanish Journal of Psychology, Cambridge University Press (CUP), 2015, 18 (e96), pp.1-6. ⟨10.1017/sjp.2015.93⟩. ⟨hal-01622590⟩

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