The School Seminar Series continues this Friday with a talk by Professor Joel Cooper of Princeton University. The seminar will be held in room 302 of the psychology building at 3pm.
Professor Joel Cooper
The psychology of vicarious dissonance: Feeling the pain of others based on shared social identity
For nearly 50 years, research on cognitive dissonance has shown that we feel upset, tense and aroused when we behave in ways that are inconsistent with our attitudes. The experience is known as cognitive dissonance and its presence motivates us to change our attitudes to restore cognitive consistency. I will present data from a new program of research conducted in Australia and the United States that asks whether we can experience dissonance not just from our own behavior but also from the behavior of others. This vicarious experience of cognitive dissonance is experienced as tension and leads to efforts to reduce it. I will suggest that vicarious dissonance is enabled by factors that strengthen group identity and is very much a function of social identity. In addition, I will present research from the collectivist culture of South Korea that further helps us appreciate the reach of vicarious dissonance.