Presentation on theme: "EMILY SLEZAK MORGAN WILBANKS THE ORIGINS OF COGNITIVE DISSONANCE: EVIDENCE FROM CHILDREN AND MONKEYS."— Presentation transcript:
EMILY SLEZAK MORGAN WILBANKS THE ORIGINS OF COGNITIVE DISSONANCE: EVIDENCE FROM CHILDREN AND MONKEYS
INTRODUCTION Cognitive Dissonance: “a psychological state in which an individual’s cognitions – beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors – are at odds” Interpreted as a negative feeling Motivated to resolve the contradiction Still up for debate: developmental or evolutionary basis?
PAST STUDIES Aronson & Carlsmith (1963) - Children Lewis (1964) - Rats Friedrich & Zentall (2004) - Birds
BASIC METHODS Combined Comparative-Developmental Approach Free-Choice Paradigm Re-rating vs. Two Phase Hypothesis: If dissonance is experienced in phase one, then attitude towards unchosen item will change in phase two
CHILD STUDY METHODS Subjects: Thirty 4-year-olds Tested in pre-schools or in the laboratory Procedure Assessed child’s preference for stickers with the smiley-face rating scale Children competency for scale tested (See any issues with this scale?)
CHILD STUDY METHODS Procedure continued Experimenter identified at least two triads of stickers the child liked equally Each sticker within a triad was labeled A, B, or C Phase one: choice between A & B Phase two: choice between unchosen option in phase one and C Choice vs. No choice conditions Using at least two triads per child, the data was averaged across trials
CAPUCHIN STUDY METHODS Subjects: Six Capuchin Monkeys Four adults and two adolescents (one subject group vs. two?) Procedure Experimenter determined differential preference for M&Ms based on retrieval time Tested 20 times in two experimental sessions
CAPUCHIN STUDY METHODS Procedure continued Equally preferred triads of M&M colors were identified Choice and no choice conditions
RESULTS Children Study “Children in the choice condition were more likely to prefer option C (63.0%) than were children in the no- choice condition (47.2%)” evidence of resolving cognitive dissonance Capuchin Study “The monkeys chose option C more in the choice condition (60.0%) than in the no-choice condition (38.3%)” The monkeys chose the unreceived option over the novel option more often in the no-choice condition
DISCUSSION Evidence for Cognitive Dissonance in human adults and children as well as non-human primates Current study isolates reason for attitude change to be attributed to cognitive dissonance The only difference being an intentional choice Evidence for innate over developmental Since 4-year-olds have some experience with cognitive dissonance, further studies with infants would be preferred
DISCUSSION Core-knowledge mechanism Possibly core aspects of cognition give rise to cognitive dissonance Automatic response Either mechanistically simpler than thought or assume less cognitively sophisticated individuals (children and monkeys) are more complex
EGAN, BLOOM, SANTOS (2010) Follow-up Study Introduction of blind choice to eliminate prior preferences too fine-grained for measurement Results Both children and monkeys chose the third object, consistent with the original study Indicating that they devalued the rejected object Pattern did not occur when the subjects did not have a choice Study gives evidence that there was not a prior preference, but that the choice itself induced preference
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