The relationship between behavior and attitudes is complex, but most information on the constructs suggests that their relationship is reciprocal; attitudes can shape behavior, and behavior can shape attitudes. Because behavior and attitudes are so powerfully intertwined people generally strive for consistency between what they feel and what they do, because inconsistency leads to discomfort. Consistency between attitudes and behaviors is especially relevant when psychologists try to induce behavioral change; if a person believes that their behavior is maladaptive or has negative consequences, they are more likely to change their actions.
A psychologist wants to see if there are differences in the effectiveness of three widely-used smoking cessation programs, including a group dissonance-based program, a group based religious twelve step program, and an individualized treatment plan that follows the traditional stages of change model. He recruits 90 individuals who are current smokers, assesses their baseline levels of cigarettes smoked per day, and randomizes 30 smokers to each treatment condition. Each program meets weekly for a total of 2 months. The smokers are asked to report how many cigarettes they smoke per day at the last session of their program, and again a month after they completion of the program. Table 1 outlines average number of cigarettes smoked per group at each assessment point. In addition, at each assessment point participants were asked to describe their experiences in treatment.
GroupBaselineLast sessionFollow-up
Dissonance23, point, 40, point, 50, point, 4
Twelve step22, point, 22, point, 112, point, 4
Individual22, point, 88, point, 84, point, 2
Which of the following would be the most effective exercise to induce dissonance in the dissonance program?
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