Effects of Confirmed and Disconfirmed Expectations: A Naturally Occuring Experiment.
TEXAS A AND M UNIV COLLEGE STATION DEPT OF MANAGEMENT
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The existence of a naturally occuring event the selection of students for an honors program permitted a test of cognitive dissonance theory through falsification. Affective reactions to confirmed and disconfirmed expectations were measured using both quantitative and qualitative approaches. Support for dissonance reduction through affective displacement is discovered but the results raise questions about the predictive ability of cognitive dissonance theory. Methodological issues and attributionally based extensions to dissonance theory are discussed.