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Dissonance and abstraction: Cognitive conflict leads to higher level of construal

Cancino-Montecinos, Sebastian; Björklund, Fredrik LU and Lindholm, Torun (2017) In European Journal of Social Psychology
Abstract
This study investigated the effects of cognitive conflict on abstract thinking. According to action-identification theory, an ambiguous and unfamiliar situation might propel an individual to a more abstract mindset. Based on this premise, cognitive conflict was hypothesized to put people in an abstract mindset. The induced compliance paradigm, in which participants are asked to write a counter-attitudinal essay under either low choice (producing little dissonance) or high choice (producing more dissonance), was employed. Results showed that an abstract mindset was in fact activated in the induced compliance paradigm, and this effect was more pronounced for participants having a more concrete mindset to begin with. The results suggest that... (More)
This study investigated the effects of cognitive conflict on abstract thinking. According to action-identification theory, an ambiguous and unfamiliar situation might propel an individual to a more abstract mindset. Based on this premise, cognitive conflict was hypothesized to put people in an abstract mindset. The induced compliance paradigm, in which participants are asked to write a counter-attitudinal essay under either low choice (producing little dissonance) or high choice (producing more dissonance), was employed. Results showed that an abstract mindset was in fact activated in the induced compliance paradigm, and this effect was more pronounced for participants having a more concrete mindset to begin with. The results suggest that the experience of cognitive conflict is closely related to increased abstraction.
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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
in press
subject
keywords
dissonance, abstraction, cognitive conflict, induced compliance, action identification theory
in
European Journal of Social Psychology
publisher
John Wiley & Sons
ISSN
1099-0992
DOI
10.1002/ejsp.2287
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
960ac6c0-9021-41ca-adac-cb2f844b9ca7
date added to LUP
2017-05-25 13:11:19
date last changed
2017-06-26 10:54:24
@article{960ac6c0-9021-41ca-adac-cb2f844b9ca7,
  abstract     = {This study investigated the effects of cognitive conflict on abstract thinking. According to action-identification theory, an ambiguous and unfamiliar situation might propel an individual to a more abstract mindset. Based on this premise, cognitive conflict was hypothesized to put people in an abstract mindset. The induced compliance paradigm, in which participants are asked to write a counter-attitudinal essay under either low choice (producing little dissonance) or high choice (producing more dissonance), was employed. Results showed that an abstract mindset was in fact activated in the induced compliance paradigm, and this effect was more pronounced for participants having a more concrete mindset to begin with. The results suggest that the experience of cognitive conflict is closely related to increased abstraction.<br/>},
  author       = {Cancino-Montecinos, Sebastian and Björklund, Fredrik and Lindholm, Torun},
  issn         = {1099-0992},
  keyword      = {dissonance,abstraction,cognitive conflict,induced compliance,action identification theory},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {05},
  publisher    = {John Wiley & Sons},
  series       = {European Journal of Social Psychology},
  title        = {Dissonance and abstraction: Cognitive conflict leads to higher level of construal},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ejsp.2287},
  year         = {2017},
}