Bandwagon and Sandbagging Effects: Some Measures of Dissonance Reduction

Carter, Richard F.
June 1959
Public Opinion Quarterly;Summer59, Vol. 23 Issue 2, p279
Academic Journal
Behavioral scientists adhere to the premise that stability is a characteristic of human behavior, that is, human actions exhibit regularities capable of prediction and understanding. All behavioral scientists believe that stability is an end, or motive force for human behavior. Scientist Leon Festinger, in his work has improved the claim of those who see stability as an end, which provides motive force for behaviors. Festinger has shown that persons who perceive several attitudes, opinions, concepts, or acts to be relevant but discrepant, will attempt to reduce the dissonance, which this perception arouses. Although consistency has been condemned as a "petty virtue," there is a common tendency in human beings to attempt a reconciliation of their discrepant attitudes and actions. This tendency toward the reduction of dissonance is studied in this article in the context of a school bond issue election where two prevalent norms, citizen responsibility to vote and the expectation of a low turnout in such elections, offer alternative foci for the resolution of conflicting attitudes and behavior.


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