Norton, Robert Wayne
March 1970
Today's Speech;Spring1970, Vol. 18 Issue 2, p39
Academic Journal
This article analyzes the factor of the physical presence of protest participants in terms of propaganda theory and persuasion theory. According to the article, the commitment of the body makes a fundamental contribution in the persuasive process. This analysis is derived from social psychologist Leon Festinger's theory of cognitive dissonance. Basically, the theory holds that when a person has two cognitions which are inconsistent with one another, a state of dissonance or psychological discomfort exists. The existence of dissonance or discomfort will motivate the person to attempt to alleviate the inconsistency between cognitions in order to restore the organism to a state of equilibrium or consonance. One of the realms of dissonance theory relates to the decision making process. Festinger claims that the post-decision situation differs significantly from the pre-decision situation. Festinger argues that once a person is committed to a given course of action, that person views and evaluates alternatives with less objectivity.


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