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Cognitive Dissonance: 50 Years of a Classic Theory

3.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1412929738
ISBN-10: 1412929733
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Cooper (Princeton) does a superb job summarizing research on the concept of cognitive dissonance since it was first elucidated by Leon Festinger in the 1950s...Cooper brings a much-needed historical perspective to cognitive dissonance, and he peppers his discussion with interesting personal anecdotes.  Political analysts as well as psychologists will be interested in the specific conditions that elicit cognitive dissonance."

CHOICE (D.J. Winchester 2007-12-11)

This book is fun to read!...Cooper takes care to delineate those studies that were particularly important in their purpose, particularly clever in their design, and most groundbreaking in their results.  He makes a gripping story of the inception and march of progress in what could have been simply a long series of interesting research projects.  In doing so, he made me nostalgic for a time when the field of psychology was alive with excitement and overrun with research topics that actually made sense to those outside a narrow specialty and that meant something to the citizenry."  ―Alan Cheney, PSYCCRITIQUES (Alan Cheney PSYCCRITIQUES 2007-12-14)

About the Author

Joel Cooper received his B.A. from the City College of New York in 1965 and a Ph.D. from Duke University in 1969. He joined the psychology department faculty at Princeton University in 1969, attaining the rank of full professor in 1978. Professor Cooper's major research focus is on attitudes and attitude change, particularly as they relate to the process of cognitive dissonance. His recent work examines vicarious experiences of dissonance (i.e., feeling dissonance due to the inconsistent behavior of others) and the role of the self in dissonance arousal. Two other areas of active interest are (1) the effect of expert testimony in courts of law, and (2) gender differences in the effectiveness of information technology, particularly among school children.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications Ltd (April 13, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1412929733
  • ISBN-13: 978-1412929738
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #969,976 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A. Cheney on January 19, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Fifty years ago, we learned that we cannot hold two conflicting thoughts at the same time, nor can we engage in behaviors that conflict with our beliefs, at least not without creating a great deal of psychological discomfort, which we then have to work hard to dissipate. Even before 1957, people knew, for example, that it was not easy to see themselves as upstanding, honest individuals while simultaneously swindling widows of their life savings. But that year was particularly full of conflicting thoughts and behaviors. It was the year Ed Sullivan introduced Elvis as "a real, decent fine boy" and then allowed his singing of "Peace In The Valley" to be televised only from the waist up. It was the year the Soviet Union launched not one but two Sputniks into orbit, putting that country and not us into first place in the original star wars.

But 1957 was a good year, too. The laser and the piña colada were invented. And social psychology was flourishing with interesting research that was relevant to everyday American life. It was the year psychologist Leon Festinger coined the term 'cognitive dissonance' when in another recent news event, a small group of Californians calling themselves The Seekers awaited the prophesied end of the world by flood on December 21, 1955. "All of the people would perish in the cataclysm," they believed, "except for those who believed in the prophecies emanating from the planet Clarion; they alone would be saved from the flood" (p. 3). As happened to the Millerites a century before, the Jehovah's Witnesses 40 years earlier, and countless other groups before and after, The Seekers were sorely disappointed when the day came and the expected event failed to transpire.
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Format: Hardcover
At times this book almost feels like a recitation of Coopers research career. Most of the research presented in this book was performed by or related to Coopers own research. Which makes sense, since he is more familiar with these experiments than experiments not related to his own. As such, the book mainly focuses on Coopers point of view of cognitive dissonance rather than cognitive dissonance in general.

If you aren't familiar with any of the research after 1957 then this book will do a pretty good job of getting you started, but I wouldn't recommend stopping there.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book from social psychologist Cooper is a must read for economists interested in cognitive dissonance theories. The examples it includes are not directly relevant to economists but they are easy to use as generic ideas for tackling economic problems where individual psychology matters.
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Format: Paperback
This book is quite useful on summarizing the development of cognitive dissonance theory over the years. It outlines the most important studies conducted in favour and against the theory and gives insight to other theories relevant to cognitive dissonance. Even though the book is far from being objective as the writer himself introduces his own perspective as "a new look at dissonance theory", the book still has the advantage of being one of the most comprehensive resource on the history of cognitive dissonance.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I downloaded the Amazon reader version, in order to include this work in my dissertation. There are no page numbers, so I cannot include direct quotes per APA format requirement! This makes the work virtually useless for the purposes I bought it for and a waste of $35. I'm really upset. I would have preferred buying it on the Google reader.

I should have known better. I think Amazon is losing their touch. Amazon Fresh was useless. And Amazon Reader can't keep up with Google. I just bought my last "kindle" product through Amazon. Do yourself a favor and do not buy this product here. Go to SAGE Publications or purchase through Google.
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