Does Cognitive Dissonance Occur in Older Age? A Study of Induced Compliance in a Healthy Elderly Population

Joel Cooper, Lauren A. Feldman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Does cognitive dissonance change as people age? Although cognitive dissonance has been one of the most widely studied theories in psychology, scant research has investigated the experience of dissonance over the life span and, to our knowledge, no prior research has investigated its effects in healthy older adults. The current study is the 1st empirical test of cognitive dissonance in an elderly population. We found that, consistent with dissonance theory, older adults showed effects of cognitive dissonance as measured by attitude differences in the direction of attitude-discrepant behavior in a classic induced compliance paradigm. Implications for the development of prohealth, dissonance-based interventions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPsychology and Aging
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

Keywords

  • Aging
  • Attitude change
  • Cognitive dissonance
  • Emotion regulation

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