The effect of self-attribute relevance on how self-esteem moderates attitude change in dissonance processes

Jeff Stone, Joel Cooper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

45 Scopus citations

Abstract

An experiment was conducted to examine the conditions under which self-esteem operates as an expectancy, as a resource, or does not influence cognitive dissonance processes. Based on the self-standards model of dissonance (Stone & Cooper, 2001), it was predicted that following a high-choice counter-attitudinal behavior: (a) priming positive self-attributes that were relevant to the discrepant behavior would cause participants with high self-esteem to report more attitude change as compared to participants with low self-esteem, (b) priming positive self-attributes that were irrelevant to the behavior would cause participants with high self-esteem to report less attitude change as compared to participants with low self-esteem, and (c) priming neutral self-attributes would eliminate self-esteem moderation of attitude change. The results of the attitude change measure supported the predictions. The discussion explores different processes by which the accessibility of cognitions about the self mediate dissonance arousal and reduction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)508-515
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Volume39
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

Keywords

  • Attitude change
  • Cognitive dissonance
  • Self-affirmation
  • Self-consistency
  • Self-esteem
  • Self-standards

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