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Vicarious Dissonance: Reasons and Functions of Attitude Change

Abstract : This paper proposes to make an inventory of knowledge on the process of vicarious dissonance, describing the possibility of individuals experiencing cognitive dissonance vicariously when they observe a member of their group acting inconsistently with their own attitudes (Cooper & Hogg, 2007). After identifying different factors necessary for or conducive to the development of vicarious dissonance, and after reviewing the nature of vicarious dissonance, this article will explore the reasons why an individual may be compelled to change their attitude under conditions of vicarious dissonance. We will conclude our argument by presenting new findings on this phenomenon in line with several theories. According to the cognitive dissonance theory, the reduction is linked to a decrease in arousal which leads to a decrease in inconsistency. While the social identity theory (Tajfel & Turner, 1979) and self-categorization (Turner et al., 1987) allows us to think of cognitive dissonance as a vicarious process, the uncertainty theory (Hogg, 2000, 2007) proposes brand new interpretations for answering the question “what are the functions of vicarious dissonance reduction?”, at both individual- and group-level.
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https://hal-amu.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03014490
Contributor : Sara Jaubert <>
Submitted on : Thursday, November 19, 2020 - 2:22:29 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, November 25, 2020 - 11:14:47 AM

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Sara Jaubert, Fabien Girandola, Lionel Souchet. Vicarious Dissonance: Reasons and Functions of Attitude Change. European Psychologist, Hogrefe, 2020. ⟨hal-03014490⟩

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