Cognitive dissonance and the perception of natural environments

Emily Balcetis, David Dunning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Two studies demonstrated that the motivation to resolve cognitive dissonance affects the visual perception of physical environments. In Study 1, subjects crossed a campus quadrangle wearing a costume reminiscent of Carmen Miranda. In Study 2, subjects pushed themselves up a hill while kneeling on a skateboard. Subjects performed either task under a high-choice, low-choice, or control condition. Subjects in the high-choice conditions, presumably to resolve dissonance, perceived the environment to be less aversive than did subjects in the low-choice and control conditions, seeing a shorter distance to travel (Study 1) and a shallower slope to climb (Study 2). These studies suggest that the impact of motivational states extends from social judgment down into perceptual processes. ©

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)917-921
Number of pages5
JournalPsychological Science
Volume18
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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