Abstract

The research in this article examined the consequences of a failed attempt to reduce dissonance through a self-affirmation strategy. It was hypothesized that disconfirming participants' affirmations would reinstate psychological discomfort and dissonance motivation. In Experiment 1, high-dissonance participants who affirmed on a self-relevant value scale and received disconforming feedback about their affirmations expressed greater psychological discomfort (Elliot & Devine, 1994) than either affirmation-only participants or low-dissonance/affirmation disconformed participants. In Experiment 2, disconfirmation of an affirmation resulted in increased attitude change. The results of both experiments suggested that a failed attempt to reduce dissonance reinstates psychological discomfort and dissonance motivation. We discuss how the reduction of psychological discomfort may play a role in the success of affirmations in reducing dissonance-produced attitude change.

Authors
Adam Galinsky, J. Stone, and J. Cooper
Format
Journal Article
Publication Date
Journal
European Journal of Social Psychology

Full Citation

Galinsky, Adam, J. Stone, and J. Cooper
. “The reinstatement of dissonance and psychological discomfort following failed affirmations.”
European Journal of Social Psychology
vol.
30
, (January 01, 2000):
123
-
147
.