Two experiments investigated how the dissonance that follows a hypocritical behavior is reduced when 2 alternatives are available: a direct strategy (changing behavior to make it less hypocritical) or an indirect strategy (the affirmation of an unrelated positive aspect of the self). In Experiment 1, after dissonance was aroused by hypocrisy, significantly more participants chose to reduce dissonance directly, despite the clear availability of a self-affirmation strategy. In Experiment 2, participants again chose direct resolution of their hypocritical discrepancy, even when the opportunity to affirm the self held more importance for their global self-worth. The discussion focuses on the mechanisms that influence how people select among readily available strategies for dissonance reduction.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science