3 The tennis elbow problem Imagine you enjoy playing tennis. One day, on the court you develop tennis elbow. It is extremely painful to play. Your doctor tells you that the pain will continue for about a year. Estimate the number of times you will play tennis in the next 6 months.Imagine you have paid $400 (nonrefundable) to join a tennis club for 6 months. During the first week of your membership, you develop tennis elbow. It is extremely painful to play. Your doctor tells you that the pain will continue for about a year. Estimate the number of times you will play tennis in the next 6 months.
4 Previous results from a large-scale study (N = 287) Difference significant at p < .0015.94.2Paid $400 fee no fee
5 Other potential examples of sunk costs Waiting for the elevator, trains, etcTickets and blizzardsWars, other armed conflicts? (e.g. Vietnam, Iraq)These latter two cases—not as clear-cut
6 Traditional (normative) models of decision making: Choices should be driven by future consequences, not past expendituresAll previous examples, which are “sunk cost” problems, appear to violate that principle.Definition of “sunk cost” problems: choices appear to be driven by past, irrecoverable expendituresTraditional models of human motivation and decision making cannot easily explain such decisions.
7 You and a companion plan to go skiing at a resort You and a companion plan to go skiing at a resort. You each have paid 100 dollars for lift tickets and rental. When you arrive, the conditions are horrible—it’s cold, icy, and even the best lifts are not operating because of the wind. In addition, you both feel lousy physically and out of sorts psychologically.Your companion turns to you and says, “It’s too bad that the money is not refundable, we’d have a much better time back home, relaxing in front of the fire. But I can’t afford to waste 100 dollars.”You agree. But you also both agree that it’s unlikely that you will have a better time struggling with the bad conditions on the slopes, compared to being inside.What do you do? Stay and ski, or go home?
8 Better day at home (minus 100 dollars) Paid 100 dollars for tickets and equipment (decrease in net assets by $100)Give up and go homeDecision?Stay and skiStaying at home feels aversive, because of the sense that you have “wasted” the 100 dollars. However, the past expenditure is irrelevant to your decision, because it is a constant in both cases.Better day at home (minus 100 dollars)Lousy day skiing (minus 100 dollars)
9 Paid 50 cents for tickets and equipment (decrease in net assets by 50 cents) Give up and go homeDecision?Stay and skiLousy day skiing (minus 50 cents)Better day at home (minus 50 cents)
10 Paid 100 dollars for very expensive meal (and waiter brings you three times as much food as you would normally eat)(decrease in net assets by $100)Eat the amount you usually doDecision?Eat the entire portionDecrease dining pleasure, and now you feel fat(minus 100 dollars)Increased dining pleasure (and no need to go on a diet)(minus 100 dollars)
12 Models of human motivation: Classical conditioningInstrumental conditioningHomeostasis models
13 Metabolic ImbalanceAversive state of arousal(hunger)Efforts to reduce arousalRegain consistencyHomeostasisPsychological ImbalanceAversive state of arousal(dissonance)
14 Dissonance theory can potentially explain sunk costs (Red arrows represent behavior that could potentially trigger dissonance.)pre-existing cognition contemplated behaviorPaid great deal of money to skiDon’t ski?Waited 2 minutes for elevatorTake stairs instead?Spent X billion in Iraq alreadyPull out troops?
15 Initiation rites: Aronson & Mills (1959) Three screening conditionsControl (e.g. chair, table, sad, book)Mild (e.g. prostitute, virgin)Extreme (obscene words--sorry, I can’t put these up!)All participants then listen to sample tape of discussion groupDiscussion is horribly boring! (pre-tested)Dependent variable: expressed liking for the discussion group and desire to join
16 Initiation (cost) + High (---) None (0) Don’t join Don’t join Join Initial evaluationof group (-)Initial evaluationof group (-)+Don’t joinDon’t joinJoinJoinSTRONG dissonance
19 Festinger & Carlsmith (1957) Control groupTwo additional conditionsParticipants paid $1.00, or $20.00 to tell lie to incoming participantDV: all participants express OWN enjoyment of task
20 Dependent variable: liking for task $1.00control$20
21 Subsequent behavior: “told other participant that I liked task”Initial attitude:“I didn’t enjoy task”Sufficient justification ($20)Insufficient justification ($1)low dissonancehigher dissonanceMinimal attitude changeAttitude change
22 Practical applications of dissonance theory: (e. g Practical applications of dissonance theory: (e.g. The condom study: Aronson, Fried, & Stone, 1991)Participants compose set of arguments about safe-sex in private vs. publicComplete survey indicating past difficulty in using condoms (control: no questionnaire)Greatest short and long term condom useContexts of arguments:Private publicyes*survey:no
23 Necessary conditions for dissonance to arise: Behavior must be:be perceived as freely chosenhave foreseeable, negative consequencesviewed by othersAlso: must assume that people think of themselves as good decision makers.
24 Post-decisional dissonance Suppose you are having a tough time choosing between two alternatives.Choice X (x+, x+, x+, x-, x-, x-)Choice Y (y+, y+ y+, y-, y-, y-)Suppose you choose xAll positive elements of y, and all negative elements of x, can produce dissonanceBrehm (1956)
25 evidence that arousal is directly mediating attitude change? Direct self report measures: Devine, 1998;Eliot & Devine, 1994Physiological data—Croyle & Cooper (1983)--GSR –galvanic skin responseMisattribution studies….
26 Misattribution paradigm (e.g. Zanna & Cooper (1974) Pill expectationsarousenonerelaxcounter-attitudinal essayDV: attitude changeDegree of attitude changerelaxnonearouseExpectations about pill
27 On the Larger Influence of Dissonance Theory Two core assumptions throughout all of psychology:need for consistencyPeople are careful and accurate monitors of their own internal statesHomeostasis model dominant forcelingering influence of Freudintra-personal processes emphasized
28 Interesting phenomena associated with dissonance effects The disgusting grasshopper study (Zimbardo et al. 1965)Ss are asked to eat a grasshopper by a friend or an enemyWhich group reported greater liking for this tasty morsel?The Ben Franklin effectWant to get someone to like you?Have them do a favor for you!Hating our victims because they are victims
29 “On the Nature of Scientific Revolutions” (Thomas Kuhn) bedrock assumptions of an established theory or “world views ”challengedNicolai CopernicusCharles DarwinSigmund Freud
30 Social psychology experiences its own paradigm shift: By early 1970’s some bedrock assumptions in social psychology are challenged:Homeostasis model incorrect?Maybe human being aren’t motivated by consistency after all.Maybe we aren’t so good at knowing our own feelings.Emergence of an “information processing” view
32 “Inconsistency, [dissonance theorists] try to tell us, motivates behavior and attitude change. But I don’t believe it. At least not very much. My own suspicion is that inconsistency is our most enduring cognitive commonplace. That is, I suspect for most people most of the time…inconsistency just sits there.”Bem (1970)
33 Dissonance theoryYESA BTension reducersSelf-perception theoryNOB AInformation processorsPeople good at assessingown internal states throughintrospection?Assumptions about relationbetween attitudes (A) andbehavior (B)Drive for consistency?Basic view of people as ….
34 Reinterpretation of classic studies in dissonance paradigm Small vs. large incentives for writing counter-attitudinal essaysOutside observers and self in similar position, says BemFestinger and Carlsmith (1957)
35 Resolution of Debate: Fazio, Zanna, & Cooper (1977) Both theories are correct, but apply under different “boundary” conditionsDissonance theory:Initial attitude is strong, and person acts in ways clearly inconsistent with it“hot” processes mediate (tension reduction)Self-perceptionInitial attitude is weak, OR person acts in ways not radically inconsistent with attitude“cold” processes mediate (logical inference)
37 Essays written in these latitudes trigger dissonance But self perception processes apply hereLatitude of acceptanceLatitude of rejectionLatitude of rejection0% tuition hike20% tuition hikeInitial attitude
38 Fazio et al. 1977: Methodology Initial assessment of attitudeAssigned to write essay in latitude of acceptance vs. rejection (all under high choice)Participants’ expectations about room: “tense” vs. no expectationsDV: attitude change after writing essay
39 Degree of attitude change “Tense”Degree of attitude changeNo expectationsLatitude of rejectionLatitude of acceptanceSELF PERCEPTIONDISSONANCE
40 Summary Two processes Dissonance Self perception Attitude change; “hot”; homeostasisSelf perceptionAttitude formation; “cold”; information processing
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