Participants then completed one of two versions of a questionnaire designed to bring to mind either past pro-ecology behaviors or past anti-ecology behaviors. On the other hand, questions like "Do you always recycle? Those with weak prior attitudes, however, were affected. At the end, those in the pro-ecology condition "Have you ever recycled?
Evidence for the self-perception theory has also been seen in real life situations. After teenagers participated in repeated and sustained volunteering services, their attitudes were demonstrated to have shifted to be more caring and considerate towards others. Research incorporating self-perception theory has continued in recent years, appearing in conjunction with studies dealing with motivational "crowding out," terrorism , mindwandering , and the inclusion of others in the self.
Guadagno and her fellow experimenters did a study in addressing the recruitment of new members by terrorist organization via the internet. Also in , Clayton Critcher and Thomas Gilovich performed four studies to test a connection between self-perception theory and mindwandering. Critcher and Gilovich looked at whether people also rely on the unobservable behavior that is their mindwandering when making inferences about their attitudes and preferences.
SAGE Reference - The Role of Attitude Functions in Persuasion and Social Judgment
They found that "Having the mind wander to positive events, to concurrent as opposed to past activities, and to many events rather than just one tends to be attributed to boredom and therefore leads to perceived dissatisfaction with an ongoing task. Similarly, Goldstein and Cialdini published work related to self-perception theory in Participants incorporated attributes relevant to the actor's behavior into their own self-concepts , leading participants to then change their own behaviors.
One useful application of the self-perception theory is in changing attitude, both therapeutically and in terms of persuasion. For therapies, self-perception theory holds a different view of psychological problems from the traditional perspectives. Traditionally, psychological problems come from the inner part of the clients. However, self-perception theory perspective suggests that people derive their inner feelings or abilities from their external behaviors.
Thus, this concept can be used to treat clients with psychological problems that resulted from maladjustments by guiding them to first change their behavior and later dealing with the "problems". One of the most famous therapies making use of this concept is therapy for "heterosocial anxiety". Experiments showed that males with heterosocial anxiety perceived less anxiety with females after several sessions of therapy in which they engaged in a minute, purposefully biased dyadic social interactions with a separate females.
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From these apparently successful interactions, the males inferred that their heterosocial anxiety was reduced. This effect is shown to be quite long-lasting as the reduction in perceived heterosocial anxiety resulted in a significantly greater number of dates among subjects 6 months later. Self-perception theory is also an underlying mechanism for the effectiveness of many marketing or persuasive techniques.
One typical example is the foot-in-the-door technique, which is a widely used marketing technique for persuading target customers to buy products. The basic premise of this technique is that, once a person complies with a small request e. It is because people observe their own behaviors paying attention to and complying with the initial request and the context in which they behave no obvious incentive to do so , and thus infer they must have a preference for those products.
Self-perception theory was initially proposed as an alternative to explain the experimental findings of the cognitive dissonance theory , and there were debates as to whether people experience attitude changes as an effort to reduce dissonance or as a result of self-perception processes. Based on the fact that the self-perception theory differs from the cognitive dissonance theory in that it does not hold that people experience a "negative drive state" called "dissonance" which they seek to relieve, the following experiment was carried out to compare the two theories under different conditions.
An early study on cognitive dissonance theory shows that people indeed experience arousal when their behavior is inconsistent with their previous attitude.
Waterman  designed an experiment in which 77 male college freshmen were asked to write an essay arguing against the position they actually agreed with. Then they were asked immediately to perform a simple task and a difficult task; their performance in both tasks was assessed. It was found that they performed better in the simple task and worse in the difficult task, compared to those who had just written an essay corresponding to their true attitude.
As indicated by social facilitation , enhanced performance in simple tasks and worsened performance in difficult tasks shows that arousal is produced by people when their behavior is inconsistent with their attitude. Therefore, the cognitive dissonance theory is evident in this case.
Debate ensued over whether dissonance or self-perception was the valid mechanism behind attitude change.
The chief difficulty lay in finding an experiment where the two flexible theories would make distinctly different predictions. Some prominent social psychologists such as Anthony Greenwald thought it would be impossible to distinguish between the two theories. In , Zanna and Cooper conducted an experiment in which individuals were made to write a counter-attitudinal essay.
Social Judgment Theory Experiment
They were also given a placebo ; they were told the placebo would induce either tension, relaxation, or exert no effect. Under low choice, all participants exhibited no attitude change, which would be predicted by both cognitive dissonance theory and self-perception theory. These results are not explainable by self-perception theory, as arousal should have nothing to do with the mechanism underlying attitude change.
Cognitive dissonance theory, however, was readily able to explain these results: if the participants could attribute their state of unpleasant arousal to the placebo, they would not have to alter their attitude. Thus, for a period of time, it seemed the debate between the self-perception theory and cognitive dissonance had ended. Fazio, Zanna, and Cooper conducted another experiment in , demonstrating that both cognitive dissonance and self-perception could co-exist.
In an experimental design similar to Zanna and Cooper's study, another variable was manipulated: whether or not the stance of the counter-attitudinal essay fell in the latitude of acceptance or the latitude of rejection see social judgment theory. It appeared that when the stance of the essay fell into the latitude of rejection, the results favoured cognitive dissonance.
However, when the essay fell in the latitude of acceptance, the results favoured self-perception theory. Whether cognitive dissonance or self-perception is a more useful theory is a topic of considerable controversy and a large body of literature. There are some circumstances in which a certain theory is preferred, but it is traditional to use the terminology of cognitive dissonance theory by default.
The cognitive dissonance theory accounts for attitude changes when people's behaviors are inconsistent with their original attitudes which are clear and important to them; meanwhile, the self-perception theory is used when those original attitudes are relatively ambiguous and less important. Studies have shown that, in contrast to traditional belief, a large proportion of people's attitudes are weak and vague. Thus, the self-perception theory is significant in interpreting one's own attitudes, such as the assessment of one's own personality traits   and whether someone would cheat to achieve a goal.
According to G.
Jademyr and Yojiyfus, the perception of different aspect in the interpreting theory can be due to many factors, such as circumstances regarding dissonance and controversy. This can also be because of balance theory as it applies to the attitude towards accountability and dimensions.
Development and Characteristics of the Self-Concept
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Not to be confused with Self-awareness , Self-concept , Self-consciousness , or Self image. This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.
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Basic types. Applied psychology. Attitude change Outline of self Overjustification effect Self-knowledge psychology Self-schema Social comparison theory.
Self-Complexity and Self-Concept Clarity
Psychological Review, 74, Self-Perception Theory. Berkowitz Ed.
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New York: Academic Press. Most importantly, these models suggest that changes in the associative structure are reflected more directly in the implicit attitude whereas the explicit attitude additionally reflects information deemed to be valid. Experimental evidence on the resistance versus malleability of implicit attitudes compared to explicit attitudes is ambiguous. Importantly, these divergent outcomes resulted from very different attitude manipulations also see Rudman, Some studies provided information to participants that a recently established attitude was based on mistaken descriptive information e.
Whilst evaluative conditioning changed implicit attitudes but not explicit ones e. In sum, studies suggest that implicit and explicit attitude change can depend on the approach used to alter attitudes and on the processes involved in the respective approach e.