Apply it! Exercises

Dead Puppies
This video is a comic, offbeat, and inarguably off-color look at people’s publicly stated attitudes about how much money they would have to receive to voluntarily kill a puppy, and then their actual behavior when confronted with a live puppy and a blank check. At the end of this comedy sketch, we are assured that no puppies were harmed in the making of the sketch. Some foul language.
In the induced-compliance experiments, such as Festinger and Carlsmith’s $1/$20 experiment, all participants agree to say or write something that is at variance with their true, initial beliefs. The typical result is an inverse relationship between what they were paid and their subsequent belief in what they were induced to say or write: those who were paid more believed less in what they said. But what do you think the relationship between the amount paid and the final attitude would be if the incentives were not sufficient to get participants to say or write something they didn’t believe? If everyone turned down payment to express a belief that is counter to their true attitudes, with some turning down more money than others, what do you think the relationship would be between the amount offered and the final attitudes?
In what way do you think each of the people featured in the video changed their attitude from the time they were asked the question to the time they were presented with an actual puppy?
Texting & Driving
Chora Scholarette

Read the article and make sure to watch the video referenced. The video, produced by the Tredegar Comprehensive School and Gwent Police in the United Kingdom, is a five-minute trailer for a half-hour drama depicting a car crash resulting from texting while driving.
From the perspective of Terror Management Theory, can explicit messages, such as the one featured in the video, effectively change people’s attitudes or behavior?
Think of a person who believes that he or she is perfectly capable of texting while driving without getting into an accident. Although the video is disturbing, simply watching it may not be enough to lead to attitude change in a person with those beliefs. Why would viewing the video be insufficient to produce dissonance-induced attitude change? Why might viewing the video be unlikely to result in attitude change via self-perception?

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