Festinger And Carlsmith Flashcards, test questions and answers
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What is Festinger And Carlsmith?
Leon Festinger and James Carlsmith conducted a study in 1959 that aimed to explore the concept of cognitive dissonance. The study involved students who were asked to perform a tedious task and then either lie or tell the truth about how enjoyable they found it. The purpose of this experiment was to understand how people manage inconsistencies between their beliefs and behavior.The participants in the study were divided into two groups, one group was asked to lie about the task and told they would be paid $1 for doing so, while the second group was asked to tell the truth (with no payment). After performing their respective tasks, each participant was given a questionnaire meant to evaluate how enjoyable they found it. As expected, those who were paid for telling a falsehood about their experience reported higher levels of enjoyment than those who did not receive payment. What this experiment revealed is that when people are presented with an incentive (especially monetary ones), they are likely willing to go against what they believe in order to benefit from it. This finding has since been used as evidence that humans can rationalize behavior by creating excuses or justifications for why their actions are acceptable even if internally there is some cognitive dissonance created by acting in opposition of one’s beliefs. Thus, Festinger and Carlsmith’s experiment demonstrated that humans have an innate ability to adapt and adjust our perceptions of reality when there is something beneficial at stake – an idea which has been used in many areas including marketing campaigns, political campaigns, etc.