Saying, but not doing: Induced hypocrisy, trivialization, and misattribution

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Valérie Fointiat
Alain Somat
Jean-Michel Grosbras
Cite this article:  Fointiat, V., Somat, A., & Grosbras, J. (2011). Saying, but not doing: Induced hypocrisy, trivialization, and misattribution. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 39(4), 465-476.


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Hypocrisy paradigm has been identified as a form of dissonance induction. Hypocrisy is induced by the combination of 2 factors: commitment (advocating a position one supports) and mindfulness (being made mindful of one’s failure to act in accord with the advocated standards). The experimental 2 x 2 between participants design manipulates misattribution and the order of presentation of 2 modes of dissonance reduction, behavior change – which is the paradigmatic measure of hypocrisy reduction – versus trivialization – which consists of minimizing the importance of what was done. Misattribution effect is observed for any given mode of reduction so long as it is made available first. Furthermore, the misattribution effect no longer occurs when considering the mode of reduction is made available second. These results suggest that misattribution is not a permanent and efficient route of dissonance reduction, and support the perspective of a complementary model of dissonance reduction.

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