• TABLE OF CONTENTS
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 Title Page
 Acknowledgement
 Table of Contents
 List of Tables
 Introduction
 Method
 Results
 Discussion
 Summary
 Appendices
 References
 Biographical sketch














Title: Change in self-concept as a function of dissonant role-playing
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Title: Change in self-concept as a function of dissonant role-playing
Physical Description: vi, 98 leaves : ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Clarke, Carl ( Carl Telles ), 1930-
Publication Date: 1965
Copyright Date: 1965
 Subjects
Subject: Self   ( lcsh )
Cognitive dissonance   ( lcsh )
Psychology thesis Ph. D   ( lcsh )
Dissertations, Academic -- Psychology -- UF   ( lcsh )
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Thesis: Thesis - University of Florida.
Bibliography: Bibliography: leaves 96-97.
General Note: Manuscript copy.
General Note: Vita.
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Bibliographic ID: UF00099155
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: alephbibnum - 000566010
oclc - 13618705
notis - ACZ2436

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Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Page i
    Acknowledgement
        Page ii
    Table of Contents
        Page iii
        Page iv
    List of Tables
        Page v
        Page vi
    Introduction
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
    Method
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
    Results
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
    Discussion
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
    Summary
        Page 61
        Page 62
    Appendices
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
    References
        Page 96
        Page 97
    Biographical sketch
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
Full Text








CHANGE IN SELF-CONCEPT AS A FUNCTION

OF DISSONANT ROLE-PLAYING



















By

CARL CLARKE


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL OF
THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE
DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY











UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
April, 1965
















ACKNOWLEDGMENTS


The writer wishes to gratefully acknowledge the assistance he

received from the members of his supervisory committee: Drs. James C.

Dixon, Chairman; Benjamin Barger, Audrey Schumacher, and Marvin Shaw

of the Department of Psychology; and Dr. Farhang Zabeeh of the

Department of Philosophy. He also wishes to thank Dr. A. E. Brandt

for assisting with the statistical analysis and Mr. Aubrey Daniels for

serving as the colleague.

He wishes to express a special word of appreciation to Dr. James

C. Dixon, who provided provocative questions while encouraging indepen-

dent thought and work in every phase of this study, and to Dr. Benjamin

Barger, who provided the support and encouragement which made the com-

pletion of this study possible.


















TABLE OF CONTENTS





ACKNOWLEDGMENTS . . . . . . . . . . .

LIST OF TABLES . . . . . . . . . . . .

LIST OF FIGURES . . . . . . . . . . . .

CHAPTER

I INTRODUCTION . . . . . .


The Self-concept .
Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance


and Attitude Change .


The Importance of Commitment
Attitude Change .
Modifying Self-concept .
Role-playing . . ...
Hypotheses . . . . .


and Volition


II METHOD . . . .


Subjects .
Instruments .
Design . . .
Procedure . .
Rating of Verbal
Predictions .
Analysis . .


Responses


III RESULTS . . . . . . . . . . . .

Summary of Results . . . . . . . .


IV DISCUSSION . . . . .

Discrepant Behavior . .
No Justification . . .
Volition . . . . .
Irrevocable Consequences .

V SUMMARY . . . . . .


. . 49
. . . 53
. . . 54
. . . 55

. . . 61


Page

ii

v

vi


in


. 49












APPENDICES . .

APPENDIX A.

APPENDIX B.

APPENDIX C.

APPENDIX D.

APPENDIX E.


APPENDIX

APPENDIX








APPENDIX

APPENDIX


. . . . . . . . . .

TDMH Self-concept Scale . . . . .

Self-concept Scale . . . . . .

Role-Playing Test . . . . . . .

Statements in the Role-Playing Test . .

Time Sequence for Administering the Role-
Playing Test . . .

Explanation of the Rating Task . . .

Samples of the Verbal Response Rating Form
for Individual Judges and the Verbal
Response Scoring Form for Individual Sub-
jects on which Were Derived the Role-
Playing Test Mean Rating (X), the Modal
Rating, and the Index of Interjudge Agree-
ment (X%). . . . . . . . .

Analysis of Ratings of Verbal Responses .

Explanation of Table of Analysis of
Variance . . . . . . . . .


REFERENCES . . . . . . . . . . .

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH . . . . . . . . . . .


Page

63

64

68

73

78


79

82








89

90


92

96

98
















LIST OF TABLES


Table Page

1 Comparison of Volunteer and Non-volunteer Subjects 18

2 Dates of the Initial Self-concept Scale Administra-
tion and the Respective Numbers of Subjects Present
and Who Volunteered or Refused to Volunteer to
Serve in the Role-Playing Experiment . . . ... 19

3 Subjects in Each Treatment Group Who Were Above
(High) or Below (Low) the Total Sample Pool Mean . 20

4 Significance Tests of the Linearity of Regression
of First Posttest Scores on Pretest Scores for
Three Treatment Groups . . . . . . 1

5 Mean Change Score from Pretest to First Posttest
for Two Levels Within Three Treatment Groups . . 44
















LIST OF FIGURES


Figure Page

1. Diagram of the Experimental Design . . . ... 24

2. Regression of First Posttest on Pretest Self-concept
Scores for Three Treatment Groups . . . . .. 43

3. Mean Level of Performance Presented in a Group by
Level by Test Interaction . . . ... ...... 45
















CHAPTER I


INTRODUCTION



*According to cognitive dissonance theory (Festinger, 1957), it

should be possible to effect a change in attitudes toward oneself under

certain conditions involving dissonance between two sets of cognitions

about oneself. Given these conditions, the theory further specifies

the direction and relative degree of change. After reviewing relevant

concepts of self, cognitive dissonance theory and attitude change, to-

gether with a brief review of the pertinent literature, a role-playing

technique will be described as a proposed method of inducing cognitive

dissonance. Following this, specific hypotheses will be derived from

the theory. In the next chapter, a research design and elaborated

role-playing procedure will be described to test these hypotheses.


The Self-concept

Like the proverbial pie, the self, depending upon the personality

theorist, may be sliced in many different ways and presented in a variety

of shapes and sizes. Allport (1943), in his defense of the self as a

concept that merited research and investigation, describes the eight

major ways the self has been conceptualized: (1) as knower, (2) as

object of knowledge, (3) as primodial selfishness, (4) as dominator,

(5) as a passive organizer and rationalizer, (6) as fighter for ends,

(7) as one segregated behavior system among others, (B) as a subjective









patterning of cultural values. Hall and Lindzey (1957) reduce these

conceptualizations to two categories self-as-object and/or self-as-

process. For the purposes of this research, the self and more specifi-

cally the self-concept will be defined in terms of the self-as-object:

a hypothetical construct which represents a person's attitudes, feelings,

perceptions, and evaluations of himself.

This definition finds considerable theoretical and empirical sup-

port in the work of most of the investigators who have viewed the self

as a product of the interaction of the individual with his environment.

The young infant does not initially differentiate himself as a separate

object from the many objects within his surroundings he fails to dis-

tinguish the self from the non-self (Krech, Crutchfield, and Ballachey,

1962). Mead (1934) stresses that as the infant interacts with others

he begins to experience them as objects though he does not initially re-

gard himself as an object. However, other people react to him as a

social object and in experiencing these reactions he learns to think

of himself as an object and to introject the attitudes and feelings re-

garding himself which others maintain "He becomes a self insofar as

he can take the attitude of another and act toward himself as others

act." Cooley (1902) previously emphasized this type of genesis of the

self in coining the term "the looking glass self" which referred to the

emergence of the self-concept as a function of the infant's perception

of and identification with the attitudes and evaluations which were held

by others toward him. Sullivan (1953) developed a similar conception of

self stemming from the "reflected appraisals of others." Murphy (1947)

concludes that in the first few years of life the self becomes a dominant

perceptual figure around which the child's perceptions and activities









tend to become organized and he begins to understand the differentiation

involved in the use of such verbal symbols as "me," "my," "mine," "myself,"

and "I."

Rogers (1951) describes the same process when he states that a

portion of the total perceptual field, the set of experiences that have

the same referent the "I" or the "me" gradually becomes differentiated

as the phenomenal self. These experiences become invested with positive

and negative value (I like it, I don't like it) as the person introjects

the values of others while perceiving them as if they had been experi-

enced directly as his own.

Chein (1944), Sarbin (1952), Sherif and Cantril (1947), and

Symonds (1951), are other theorists who point to attitudes which arise

from the interaction of the individual with his environment as a major

component of the self.

In this research the definition given by Crech et al. (1962) for

attitudes which we hold toward various objects in our environment is

being extended to apply to the attitudes a person holds toward himself

as an object. They define an attitude in terms of three mutually-

dependent components: the cognitive component which includes factual in-

formation and evaluative beliefs, the feeling component which refers to

the emotions connected with the object and the action tendency component

which has to do with the behavioral readiness to act congruently with

the emotion component. These three become organized into systems called

attitudes.

Thus, self-referent attitudes refer to the organized systems of

these three mutually interdependent components. However, all of the

major investigators referred to above stress that these self-referent

attitudes do not originate in the individual. Snygg and Combs (1949)









illustrate this position by pointing out that the family members pro-

vide the child with his earliest and most permanent self-definitions

by their direct verbalization and actions. It is in this context that

he has his earliest experience of personal adequacy or inadequacy and

acceptance or rejection. These internalized attitudes toward himself,

that both precede and are reinforced concurrently with those experiences

in which the individual is personally reality-testing his value and

capacity, greatly influence the interpretative perceptions of these

testing experiences.

In summary, cognitions about the self-as-object, evaluations of

the self-as-object, feelings regarding the self-as-object and action

tendencies appropriate to these cognitions, evaluations, and feelings -

in short, attitudes are the basic elements in the structure and orga-.

nization of the self. There are other aspects of the self: wants,

goals, desires, motives, etc.; but self-referent attitudes from the

earliest stages of development are synonymous with what is being

described when the term "self" is used.

If the self can be conceptualized as a constellation of attitudes,

then the research methods whereby attitudes are modified should be rele-

vant to the question of modifying self-concept. Attitudes towards one-

self as an object probably differ somewhat from attitudes held about

objects external to oneself especially in their intensity and resistance

to change. However, at this point there is no intrinsic reason to expect

them to be so different or resistive to change as to make inappropriate

the use of conditions indicated by research in the area of attitudinal

change for investigating the modifiability of self-concept.









Cognitive Dissonance

The theory of cognitive dissonance as presented by Festinger

(1957), Festinger and Bramel (1962), and Brehm and Cohen (1962), has

been utilized in studying a broad range of phenomena, such as attitude

change, decisional processes, social interaction, and mass behavior.

According to Festinger, cognitive dissonance is a psychological ten-

sion having motivational characteristics. The units of the theory are

cognitive elements and the relation between them. A cognitive element

or a cognition is something a person knows about himself, his feelings,

his behavior, or conditions in his environment. The relationship that

exists between two or more cognitions is consonant if one implies or is

consistent with the others. Dissonance is said to exist when two cog-

nitions occurring together are inconsistent with each other according

to the expectation of the person. If a person thinks of himself as a

shrewd businessman and buys an item at a bargain price, the two cog-

nitions, A, "I am shrewd," and B, "I got a bargain," are consonant.

But if he learns that someone else got the same article for an even

lower price, this cognition becomes dissonant with both cognitions A

and B and he is motivated to reduce the tension by either admitting he

is not as shrewd as he thought he was, or the salesman is a crook, or

the second party is even shrewder than he is. Some feeling, evaluation,

attitude, or cognition is modified so as to make the relevant cognitions

more consonant. Thus, the central hypothesis of the theory is that the

presence of dissonance gives rise to pressure or motivation to reduce

that dissonance and that the strength of this motivation is a direct

function of the magnitude of the existing dissonance. The magnitude of

dissonance is partly a function of the importance of that cognition and









the one with which it is dissonant, and of the ratio of dissonant to

consonant cognitions where each cognition is weighted for its importance

to the person. Thus, dissonance increases as the number and/or impor-

tance of dissonant cognitions increases relative to the number and/or

importance of consonant cognitions and decreases as that ratio is re-

versed.

A hypothetical example illustrates these principle factors of

the theory. A man has decided to purchase a station wagon rather than a

sedan after carefully considering all the pros and cons of each in view

of his own needs and values. All the positive aspects of the station

wagon and negative aspects of the sedan are consonant with the cognition

of buying the station wagon. There are, however, the knowledge of the

negative aspects of the station wagon and favorable aspects of the sedan.

Any of these latter cognitions would have been consonant with purchasing

the sedan rather than the station wagon and if the person holds any of

these cognitions he will experience dissonance consequent to choosing

the station wagon. But the amount of dissonance experienced by the per-

son depends on the ratio of dissonant to consonant elements where each

element is weighted according to its importance to him. He may try to

reduce the dissonance by modifying hi-s-own attitudes in the direction

of now devaluing the favorable aspects of the sedan and increasing the

value of the unfavorable aspects of the station wagon or he may seek to

discover even more advantages in owning a station wagon and disadvan-

tages in owning a sedan. He may even try to gain social support from

others by trying to convince others that station wagons are better than

sedans. He will certainly begin to notice how many more station wagons

there are on the road and how all the more substantial people own a sta-

tion wagon.









Cognitive Dissonance and Attitude Change

Thus, within the framework of cognitive dissonance theory the

conditions necessary for modification of attitudes are specifically de-

lineated and attitude change becomes predictable. Whenever a person en-

gages in a behavior that his attitudes would lead him not to engage in,

he will experience dissonance and will attempt to eliminate or reduce

it. He may first attempt to justify the behavior i.e., increase the

number of cognitions related to the attitude-discrepant behavior that

are consonant with other values or attitudes. Failing this, he will

modify his attitude in the direction of being one which more nearly

leads to and is more consistent with the discrepant behavior.

Several studies illustrate those conditions under which a change

in attitude may be effected. Brehm and Cohen (1962) offered 30 Yale

students either $.50, $1.00, $5.00, or $10.00 to write an essay against

their private negative view on a current issue on campus. There had been

a student riot at Yale with resulting accusations of police brutality

toward the students. Each S was asked to write an essay in favor of

the actions of the police. Under the guise that the E was doing research

on the kinds of arguments people would bring up in their essays if they

were defending a position different from their own attitudes, he offered

to pay them for their essays. All groups (reward groups) were told

that the decision to write the essay was entirely their own choice

though they were informed that the E did need their help as he was a

student and this was part of his research paper. Immediately after

the essays were completed, post-measures were administered to determine

post-attitudes toward the police action and the degree to which the Ss

felt their arguments were supportive of the police action. All groups









felt that their essays were very supportive of the police action.

However, the data on attitude change were entirely consistent with the

hypothesis that dissonance with consequent attitude change varies in-

versely with the amount of incentive for taking a stand discrepant

with one's cognitions: as the reward decreased, attitudes toward the

police became more positive. Thus, when there was little justifica-

tion (reward) for the discrepant behavior (defending police) to which

the individual had chosen to commit himself, dissonance was reduced by

modifying the attitude with which the chosen behavior was discrepant.

Davis and Jones (1960) induced dissonance by having college stu-

dents make derogatory remarks (prepared statements) to a (non-existent)

person who was presumably a student being evaluated on several person-

ality dimensions. Some Ss were given the opportunity to refuse to read

the negative evaluations and some were not given an opportunity to re-

fuse. All Ss gave their own personal ratings of the person before and

after reading the prepared negative evaluation. It was predicted that

dissonance engendered by the choice to rate a person negatively would

tend to be reduced by negative shifts in real evaluations of the per-

son. Some of the Ss in each of the choice conditions were told that

they would be unable to inform the target person of the false nature

of their evaluation; others were led to believe that they would have

an opportunity to confront the target person and could dispel any be-

lief he might have in their derogatory remarks. In this study the

possibility of disclaiming the discrepant factor appeared to be the

main independent variable. The predicted negative shift in real evalua-

tions was observed in Ss who had chosen to read the derogatory remarks

and who were not going to have an opportunity to neutralize their









discrepant behavior. Davis and Jones conclude that when Ss have

committed themselves to discrepant behavior, the consequences of which

they will have no opportunity to disqualify, then dissonance is reduced

by changing attitudes in the direction of the discrepant behavior.


The Importance of Commitment and Volition in Attitude Change

The role of commitment is crucial to the arousal of dissonance

and in predicting how dissonance will be reduced.

A person is committed when he has decided to do or not
do a certain thing, when he has chosen one (or more)
alternatives and thereby rejected one (or more) alter-
natives, when he actively engages in a given behavior
or has engaged in a given behavior. Any one or a
combination of these behaviors can be considered a
commitment (Brehm and Cohen, 1962, p. 7).

A commitment implies a specification of those cognitive elements that

are consonant with each other and those cognitive elements that are

dissonant with each other. If an adolescent decides to smoke, his

knowledge that this will make him more acceptable to a group whose

acceptance he values will be consonant with his decision to smoke. But

hiw knowledge that his parents will disapprove and that their approval

is very important to him will be dissonant with his decision to smoke.

However, in simply "knowing" both these facts without the commitment,

the decision to smoke or not smoke, the various cognitions concerning

the social benefits and liabilities involved in smoking may have no

power at all to arouse dissonance.

When a person experiences dissonance, he will tend to change those

cognitive elements that are least resistive to change. The act of de-

ciding upon a course of action, especially if this decision is a public

one, increases the resistance to change of those cognitions associated

with this act. Once the act of deciding has been performed it is









difficult to deny its reality. Likewise, when the behavior that

follows from the decision is entered into, there are additional cogni-

tions that are difficult to deny and thus resistive to change. The

deed is done. The concept of commitment as presented by Brehm and

Cohen (1962), which connotes acts of deciding and acts of actualizing

decisions, specifies the possible directions of dissonance reduction.

For instance, in a situation where a person commits himself to behavior

that is discrepant with his own attitudes or values, dissonance is

aroused in connection with this commitment. Either a number of cogni-

tions that have to do with justifying the discrepant behavior will be

marshalled, thus increasing the ratio of consonant to dissonant cogni-

tions or the attitudes and/or values to which the behavior is discrepant

will be modified in the direction of the behavior or possibly both

means of dissonance reduction will be utilized, but each to varying de-

grees. If conditions can be controlled so as to make justifying the

discrepant behavior a more difficult alternative, then change in atti-

tude can be anticipated.

The role of commitment, then, is first to aid in specifying the

psychological implication of what is consonant and what is dissonant,

and, second, to aid in specifying the ways in which a person may try to

reduce dissonance.

Arousal of dissonance is unequivocal in situations involving

choice of one from multiple alternatives, or the decision to partici-

pate in behavior that is discrepant with one's attitudes or values. This

is true for two reasons: first, such decisions imply a commitment that

cannot be denied; and, second, they involve some degree of volition.

Like commitment, volition is also crucial to the theory of cognitive

dissonance.









The degree of volition in any choice is the extent to
which a person feels that he controls his own behavior.
Volition implies not only initiation and selection of
behavior but also responsibility for its consequences.
Thus, the ability of a cognitive inconsistency to a-
rouse dissonance would be a function of the degree to
which volition is involved in the occurrence of that
inconsistency. If the individual felt that the occur-
rence of the inconsistent or unpleasant event was a
consequence of his own volition, then it would arouse
dissonance. Thus when a person gets himself into a
situation and therefore feels responsible for its con-
sequences, inconsistent information should, no matter
how it comes about, arouse dissonance. Again, where
a large degree of volition is involved in performing
attitude discrepant behavior, it is more difficult
to justify the behavior, consequently the attitude is
often modified as a method of dissonance reduction
(Brehm and Cohen, 1962, p. 202).

In studying the importance of volition in the arousal of dis-

sonance, Cohen, Terry, and Jones (1959) compared the consequent atti-

tude change following exposure to counter propaganda by chance and

following exposure to counter propaganda by choice. Their study demon-

strated that under conditions of high volition (exposure by choice),

Ss' attitudes changed more the greater the discrepancy between the in-

formation and their initial opinion. Under conditions of low volition

(exposure by chance), Ss' attitudes changed less the greater the dis-

crepancy between the information and their initial opinion. The more

extreme a person is in his own opinion the more he may be expected to

resist counter arguments. However, when a person has chosen to expose

himself to the counter communication, dissonance is produced betweeif his

cognitions (initial opinion) and his behavior (choice of listening to

discrepant information). Volition makes him responsible for the beha-

vior, which reduces the extent to which he can justify it, and increases

the likelihood that he will reduce the dissonance by modifying his

attitudes in the direction of the counter propaganda.









Related to the importance of volition is the observation that

the magnitude of dissonance from engaging in unpleasant behavior de-

creases as the attempt to coerce or force the choice increases, whether

the inducing force is positive (level of reward) or negative (level of

punishment). Hence, the greater the coercion in obtaining compliance,

the less is the magnitude of dissonance and the less is the amount of

consequent evaluative change toward the unpleasant behavior. The

greater the amount of coercive force, the more consonant the discrepant

behavior becomes with the cognition of strong coercion and therefore

the more easily is the discrepant behavior justified. Also, there is

a subjective experience of volition which generally varies inversely

with the amount of external force that obtains compliance. In the

study in which Brehm and Cohen (1962) offered varying amounts of pay-

ment $.50 to $10.00 to students for writing essays expressing an

opinion opposite to their own private one, their response to a question

regarding how much choice they felt they had in refusing to write the

essay indicated that their perceived volition decreased with the increase

of inducing force.

The relationship between amount of inducement and attitude change

was demonstrated by Brehm and Crocker (in Brehm and Cohen, 1962) in a

study in which Ss underwent food deprivation from one evening to the

following afternoon at the end of which time their subjective feelings

of hunger were measured. Specimens of food were out in open view. Then

part of the Ss were offered $5.00 to continue their fast until 9:00 PM.

The rest were simply asked to volunteer to continue fasting until

9:00 PM. Once they made their decision the level of hunger feelings were

measured again, and they were asked to indicate how many items of food









present they wanted at the end of the evening fast. As predicted,

those who volunteered had less awareness of hunger in the post-decision

measurement, and asked for fewer food items for the evening meal. The

reduction of subjective feeling of hunger is interpreted as an attempt

to reduce the dissonance created by voluntarily committing themselves

to go without food even though they were very hungry.

In summary, the conditions which cognitive dissonance theory

assumes to be sufficient to alter attitudes are as follows: (1) induce

the S to perform some behavior (verbal or otherwise) which is discrepant

with his attitudes (behavior than would follow only from the obverse

of the attitude); (2) the inducement of the S must be such that he

has little justification for his discrepant behavior; i.e., there must

be little or no reward nor perceived coercion; (3) the conditions

should be such that the S perceives that he has on his own volition

chosen to perform the behavior; (4) and finally, where applicable the

consequences of the discrepant behavior should be fairly irrevocable.

Brehm and Cohen (1962) assert that the rationale for these conditions

being sufficient for affecting a change in attitude is the basis for

much of the power and versatility of the dissonance formulation; namely,

a person will try to justify a commitment to the extent that there is

information discrepant with that commitment. IAThus, when a person has

committed himself to an act which would only follow from the obverse of

his own attitudes, he experiences a need to justify that act. If he

cannot find enough cognitions that are consonant with the act to reduce

the dissonance, then the only alternative way of reducing it is to shift

his attitudes into a more consonant relationship with the behavior. The

volition of the individual in deciding to perform this act is crucial to

this formulation.









Modifying Self-concept

Having reviewed the basis for conceptualizing the self as a set

of self-referent attitudes and having considered the conditions whereby

cognitive dissonance theory would predict attitude change, it now re-

mains to suggest an experimental design wherein self-concept may be

modified as a function of effecting the above-mentioned conditions. By

selecting an instrument that attempts to measure the attitudes an

individual holds toward himself and using its scores as a measure of

the self-concept, one should be working most directly with that part of

the self to which cognitive dissonance theory is most relevant. Ss

with self-concept scores which are below the mean of their reference

group may be defined as having relatively negative self-concepts. Ss

with self-concept scores which are above the mean may be defined as

having relatively positive self-concepts. It is assumed that the more

negatively a person describes himself on a self-concept scale, the

more discrepant will a commitment be to saying positive things about

himself. The obverse of this is true for the person who describes him-

self on a self-concept scale in highly positive terms and who chooses

to characterize himself in terms of negative traits and failures.

To effect a shift in attitude then, take a group of Ss who have

low self-concept scores and induce each S to make very positive state-

ments regarding himself under such controlled conditions that he cannot

justify such discrepant behavior on the basis of reward, coercion, or

denial of the relevancy of such behavior. The more true these statements

are of the S the less he will be able to deny their relevancy and the

more he will need to justify his act of making them. Provided that the

individual has chosen to perform this behavior, the most accessible









alternative whereby he can justify it is to shift his own attitudes in

the direction of the discrepant positive statements so that the state-

ments follow more consistently from the S's own attitudes toward him-

self. A post-measurement of self-attitudes should result in the obser-

vation of a significantly higher self-concept score. One would predict

the opposite effect for a group of Ss with high self-concept scores

who were induced to say very negative but true things about themselves.


Role-playing

One of the most frequently used methods of getting Ss to parti-

cipate in behavior discrepant with their own attitudes has been a type

of role-playing where the S is asked to write an essay defending a posi-

tion known to be opposite to his own attitudes. This was the approach

effectively used in the Brehm and Cohen (1962) study in which students

were offered varying levels of monetary reward for writing an essay de-

fending the action of the Yale campus police. The E acknowledged that

he knew this was opposite to the S's feelings but pointed out the need

for studying the kinds of arguments people will use when defending a

position to which they are personally opposed.

A similar technique is to have Ss defend a position contrary to

their own while playing the role of a debater or proponent of that posi-

tion. Janis and King (1954) had one group of Ss read as earnestly as

they could a prepared speech which presented a view opposite to their

own. In a later study (1956) they had Ss read a speech silently and

then immediately present it with as much improvisation as possible.

Cohen and Latane (in Brehm and Cohen, 1962) had Yale students who were

against compulsory religious courses play the role of being in favor of

them by giving a completely impromptu speech in defense of that position.








They were told that their speeches were going to be reviewed by an

important Alumni committee which was deliberating on making recommen-

dations regarding this issue. In each of these studies, attitude change

in the direction of the position taken while role-playing was observed.

It is a procedure which apparently makes it easier for the S to behave

in a discrepant manner while being realistic and relevant enough in

terms of actual behavior that dissonance is aroused.

Such a technique could be utilized with Ss with low self-concepts.

They could be instructed to play the role of someone, perhaps a close

friend, who is trying to encourage them by pointing out to them all

their positive qualities and accomplishments. While playing this role

they would write down all the positive things they know to be true about

themselves to which a friend might refer in trying to be supportive.

Likewise, Ss with high self-concepts could be instructed to play

the role of someone who is criticizing them by pointing out their nega-

tive traits and mistakes. While playing this role they would write down

all the negative things they know to be true about themselves to which

a critical person might refer in trying to be condemnatory.


Hypotheses

Assuming that Ss in each of these groups low and high self-

concepts could genuinely become involved and invested in such a role-

playing task, and by controlling for those conditions which would be so

consonant with such behavior that the Ss could justify the discrepant

behavior, then cognitive dissonance theory would lead to the following

hypotheses: that Ss with low self-concept scores prior to the positive

role-playing experience would on a post-role-playing measurement of

self-concept shift their scores in a positive direction; and that Ss










with high self-concept scores prior to the negative role-playing ex-

perience would on a post-role-playing measurement of self-concept shift

their scores in a negative direction.

However, in order to be more conclusive in affirming that the pre-

dicted shift in score will be a function of reducing dissonance, Ss at

both levels of self-concept score should participate in both types of

role-playing, positive and negative. That is, a group os Ss with high

self-concept scores should also play the role of someone who is saying

positive things about them and a group of Ss with low self-concept

scores should play the role of someone who is saying negative things

about them.

Cognitive dissonance theory would predict no change in score for

Ss in these two groups because their role-playing behavior would be

more consonant with their self-attitudes than it would be dissonant.

They should experience no more than a minimal level of dissonance and

little or no change in score.

Therefore, if change in score is directly a function of disso-

nance reduction, the greater amount of change should occur in Ss who

play positive roles but who have low scores and in Ss who play negative

roles tut who have high scores. These Ss should demonstrate an amount

of change that is significantly larger than that observed in Ss in

the other level of self-concept score who play the same role.
















CHAPTER II


METHOD



Subjects

Two hundred and sixty-six University of Florida undergraduate male

and female students enrolled in a General Psychology and a Personality

Development course took two administrations of a Self-concept Scale one

week apart and received experimental credit toward satisfying a course

requirement that they serve as research subjects. Following the first

administration of the scale, 138 of these students volunteered to remain


Table 1


Comparison of Volunteer and Non-volunteer Subjects"


Male Female

N Mean Age SD N Mean Age SD


Volunteer 64 20.47 2.02 74 19.62 1.49

Non-volunteer 64 20.48 2.00 64 19.42 1.75

Total

N Mean Age SD

Volunteer 138 20.01 1.80

Non-volunteer 128 19.95 1.98


SThese two groups do not
bution by sex, or N.


differ significantly in regards to age, distri-










and serve as Ss in a role-playing experiment for no additional credit,

while the other 128 refused to remain. As indicated in Table 1, these

two groups did not differ significantly in regards to age, distribution

by sex, or in respect to N. Nor did they differ with respect to mean

pretest score (Volunteers, 71.92; Non-volunteers, 72.50).

For reasons which will be discussed later this research was main-

ly concerned with the performance of the volunteer Ss. Therefore, in

order to obtain an adequate volunteer N, experimental sessions were held

during each of the three 1964 trimesters. Table 2 presents a breakdown

by session of the number of Ss involved and the ratio of volunteers to

non-volunteers.

"able 2

Dates of the Initial Self-concept Scale Administration and the
Respective Numbers of Subjects Present and Who Volunteered or
Refused to Volunteer to Serve in the Role-playing Experiment



1964 Total Volunteers Non-volunteers


March 16 60 26 34
March 17 28 8 20
March 18 64 29 35
March 30 14 4 10
March 31 20 8 12
May 11 22 20 2
May 12 9 9 0
September 28 20 11 9
October 7 16 14 2
October 12 23 12 11

Total 276 141 135

Loss of subjects* 10 3 7

Total 266 138 128

* Ten subjects, seven non-volunteers and three volunteers, did not return
for the second posttest the following week. Their scores on the pre-
test were not used. One volunteer subject was in the Supporter group
and the other two were in the Observer group.









The 138 volunteer Ss were randomly assigned to a control group

(Observers) and two experimental groups (Supporters and Agreers). Using

the mean of the self-concept scores for the total 266 Ss (Total Sample

Pool Mean), each of these groups was divided into Ss above the mean

called "High" and Ss below the mean called "Low." The total number of

Ss in each subgroup is indicated in Table 3.


Table 3


Subjects in Each Treatment Group Who Were Above (High)
or Below (Low) the Total Sample Pool Mean




Groups High Low Total


Supporter 36 22 58

Agreer 22 19 41

Observer 19 20 39

Total 138



Instruments

Tennessee Department of Mental Health Self-concept Scale.

This Self-concept Scale (SCS), which was developed by Fitts (1965),

is composed of ten lie scale statements taken from the MMPI Lie Scale

and 45 positive and 45 negative self-referent statements. The person

is instructed to respond to each statement by indicating on a five-

point scale how true or false it is of him. His answers are scored

along two separate dimensions yielding scores for eight different sub-

scales and totaling to one net self-concept score. In this present

study, responses were recorded on an IBM answer sheet of the type that









provides for five alternatives per answer and only the net self-concept

score was utilized. Fitts reports a reliability coefficient of .92

for this net score based on a two-week test-retest plan for 60 psychology

students using the Pearson Product-moment correlation. Reliability

coefficients for the subscales and a detailed description of the SCS

are presented in Appendix A. Validity studies are reported in the test

manual (Fitts, 1965).

This instrument (Appendix B), with the item sequence modified

somewhat,* was used in obtaining self-concept scores immediately prior

to the experimental treatments of role-playing, immediately after the

treatments, and one week later. The volunteer Ss participated in all

three SCS administrations while the non-volunteer Ss only participated

in the first and last administrations.

Role-playing Test (RPT). This instrument, consisting of 20

negative statements, was constructed by the writer to facilitate the

experimental treatments of role-playing in a group setting. The 20

stimulus statements are a refinement of an original list of 40 and re-

present those that elicited the most involvement in role-playing. The

first page of the RPT is a form for collecting data on the S as well as

indicating to him whether he is in the Supporter or Agreer group. The

second page is the instruction page which was read orally by the E

(Appendix C). The last five pages contain the 20 negative stimulus

statements with ample space for each written response (Appendix D).

Ss were asked to pretend that these were statements which they

* A modification in item sequence was effected in order to facilitate a
more rapid scoring procedure and to break up groupings of statements
which were all scored on a given subscale. Since this score is also
administered in card form in which the statements are shuffled before
each administration, the modification of sequence in this study was not
expected to effect the reported reliability.









had made about themselves. Then each S in the Supporter group was in-

structed to play the role of a friendly person who was trying to con-

vince him that he was not as bad as the negative statement implied.

While playing this role he wrote down sincere references to his posi-

tive qualities and achievements to which a person might refer in trying

to encourage him.

Each S in the Agreer group was instructed to play the role of a

critical person who was agreeing with him that he really was as bad as

the negative stimulus statement indicated. While playing this role he

wrote down sincere references to his negative traits and failures to

which a person might refer in trying to be critical of him.

Following the reading of each negative statement by the E, the

Ss in both experimental groups were given two minutes in which to write

down their role-playing responses. Two minutes each for the 20 items

gave a total of 40 minutes of role-playing.


16 MM sound films. Three films requiring a total running time

of 40 minutes were viewed by the Ss in the Observer group while the two

experimental groups were role-playing. "Handling Laboratory Animals"

demonstrated the proper handling and care of small animals used in

scientific experiments. "Controlling Behavior through Reinforcement,"

and "Reinforcement in Learning and Extinction," were both devoted to a

very basic consideration of operant conditioning with chickens. It was

not anticipated that any of these films would be enhancing or threatening

to the Ss' feelings about themselves and therefore would not influence

any change in self-concept score.









Design

The sequence of the three SCS administrations with the role-

playing treatment following immediately after the first administration

was presented to the Ss as two unrelated research activities being

directed by two different Es. Figure 1 schematically represents the

total experimental design.

With a colleague as the E, the SCS pretest and final SCS posttest

were described as a standardization study of a new self-description

scale requiring two separate administrations one week apart. This so-

called standardization study was presented to psychology students as

one of the experiments in which they could participate to satisfy their

course requirement in respect to research. The first administration

(the pretest) was scheduled for a two-hour period and gave two hours of

experimental credit. The final posttest, one week later, was scheduled

for one-half hour and offered one hour of credit for a total of three

hours. However, no credit was to be given unless the S attended both

of the SCS administrations.

Immediately following the SCS pretest, the writer as E, presented

the experimental treatment of role-playing and the first SCS posttest

as a separate research project (though at the time, Ss were not told

that after the role-playing the SCS would be administered again).

Though the pretest was scheduled for two hours, it actually re-

quired less than one-half hour, leaving one and a half hours free time

at the disposal of the Ss. As the Ss were completing their performance

within the first 25 minutes with the colleague as the E, the writer en-

tered the room with two assistants and a stack of testing materials.

It was explained to the Ss that the two hours were scheduled for the










SCS
PRFT.EST


EXPERIMENTAL
TREATMENTS


POSTTEST 1
(Hour Later)


STA DARDIZATIO N STUDY

(Colleague as E)


Figure 1. Diagram of the Experimental Design.


POSTTEST 2
(Week Later)


Volunteers

El

Low 11=22

IHigh N=36

E2

Low N=19]

High N=:22

Cl

Low N=20

High N=19

Non-
volunteers


Ni=128


El

Role-playing 1 Low
(Supporter)


E2

Role-playing 2 Low
(Agreer)


Cl

Unrelated Low
Activity
(Observer) Hih


ROLE-PLAYING RESEARCH
(Writer as C)


E1

Low

Hieh

E2

Low

HiRh

Cl

Low

High





Non-
vol.


L U


F TEST T ATME14T









administration of the SCS so they would be available for participating

in another research project which would last about an hour and which

required that the Ss be willing to volunteer to serve at the expense

of giving up something. They were assured that they would get the two

hours of experimental credit they expected whether they participated

in this additional research or took advantage of the one and a half

hours of free time that was now theirs. The opportunity was then offered

to them to give up an hour of their free time in order to serve as Ss

in research in which they were not required to participate.

Getting Ss to volunteer for the role-playing task was important

so that they would experience a personal commitment to the task. This

was done in order to minimize the possibility of dissonance reduction

on the grounds that they were earning two hours of experimental credit.

Each S was given his experimental credit card before he began the

first administration of the SCS, with the colleague's name and 120 minutes

of research time already noted on the card. This was to assure him of

his two hours credit regardless of his decision to leave or volunteer

for the role-playing research.

In an attempt to further emphasize that the two research projects

were not directly related, legal-sized paper was used for all test forms

related to the role-playing phase while regular-sized paper and a dif-

ferent style of type were used in the standardization phase. Also in the

standardization study, special IBM pencils were used, whereas in the

role-playing and first posttest either pencil or pen was acceptable.

Those Ss who volunteered were randomly assigned to the three

treatment groups: Supporters, Agreers, and Observers. The Ss in the

Supporter group wrote positive things about themselves; the Ss in the









Agreer group wrote negative things about themselves; while the Ob-

server group viewed 40 minutes of film. Then all three groups were

combined again and took the first SCS posttest. This first posttest

provided the scores for testing for change in self-concept due to

experimental treatment.

Randomization of the Ss into the three groups was effected in

the following manner. Ten copies of test materials for each of the

three groups were numbered from 1-30 with test materials for one group

numbered 1-10, another group 11-20, etc. Each of the three groups

was given four two-digit numbers. By referring to a table of random

numbers, the order in which each group came in the sequence of first,

second, and third was determined. This sequence was redetermined for

each set of 30 copies of test materials. (The single sheet which

designated Ss as Observers was used for this group's test materials,

Appendix C). By again referring to a table of random numbers, the

30 copies of numbered test materials were randomized. Every 30 copies

was thus randomized.

In this randomized order they were passed out to the Ss from

left to right and from one row to the last row. Separate sets were

used for males and females. Though no effort was made to maintain an

equal number of both sexes in the subject N, female Ss were seated on

the right side and male Ss on the left side so that later, when each

side received the randomized set of test materials, the sexes would be

proportionately distributed.

This randomization process was not adhered to in the September

28 and October 7 experimental sessions (Table 2). At that time the N

for the Low Supporter subgroup was only twelve. The usual procedure and









instructions were maintained in these two sessions up to the point of

distributing the randomized test materials. At that time all the volun-

teer Ss were assigned to the Supporter group. In the next and final

experimental session on October 12, all the volunteer Ss were assigned

to the Agreer and Observer groups.

Two different assistants took care of the Observer group, reading

their instructions and operating the projector. Several other indivi-

duals assisted in passing out test materials for those appointments

where there were large groups of Ss. However, the same colleague served

as the E for all sessions of the "standardization study."


Procedure

At the beginning of each of the SCS pretest administrations, the

colleague introduced himself and his standardization study in the

following manner:

My name is Mr. The research I am carrying on is
part of a larger standardization study of a new self-description
scale. Presently I am collecting normative data on college age
students which requires that this scale be administered twice
to the same group. You will take it for the first time tonight
and again a week from tonight. But remember you will not get
your two hours credit for tonight unless you return next week
for the final half-hour session. Then you will receive a total
of three hours credit.

He then read the SCS instructions (Appendix B) and began the

administration. Twenty minutes later the writer entered the room with

testing material and two assistants. When the administration was com-

pleted and the tests taken up, the colleague explained:

Though you are getting two hours of experimental credit for
tonight, actually this is all the time I need for my research
purposes. Next week's administration will be just as short and
easily completed. I'm sure you are wondering why you were sche-
duled for two hours research time if I only needed you for one-
half hour. I'll let Mr. who just came in, explain this.
While he's explaining, I'll get my things together and go.









I will see all of you next week. Don't forget to bring your
cards so I can make them valid by signing them twice.

The writer then explained his presence and the reason why they had

been informed that the standardization study would require two hours.

I am doing research in the area of role-playing. At this
point I cannot explain why, but the research requires that I
have subjects who have been willing to volunteer at the expense
of giving up something. So I needed a situation in which there
was a large group of Ss, who had to make their decision to
volunteer right on the spot, who had to give up something to do
it, and who had the time available.
So this is the way I set it up: I asked Mr. to
schedule the first administration of his test for two hours in-
stead of the 30 minutes he needed and to grantee everyone two
hours credit. This was cleared with the Psychology Department
and is legitimate, so you have the experimental credit you ex-
pected and an hour and a half of time which you did not expect.
Then I come in and ask you to give up approximately an hour of
it in order to serve voluntarily in this research in role-playing.
Now you've got a decision to make. But before you make it let
me tell you more specifically about my research because Iinot
only need volunteers but Ss who have an idea of what they are
getting themselves into.
This research involves writing your reactions to 20 state-
ments. It is a study of different kinds of role-playing. You
will be divided into three groups called Supporters, Agreers,
and Observers. Those in the Observer group will go to another
room with one of my assistants and there play their role as
observers. The rest of you will remain here and will write your
reactions to 20 negative statements, statements which you are
pretending to have made about yourself.
But you will respond while playing the role of another per-
son. If you are in the Supporter group, you will play the role
of a person who is trying to encourage you by reminding you of
your good qualities and you will write these down. If you are
in the Agreer group, you will respond by playing the role of a
person who is trying to criticize you and agree with the nega-
tive statement by reminding you of your weak points. And you
will write these down.
This stack of research material for the three groups is in a
random order and is to be passed out to those who stay. Right now
I don't know which group any of you will be in. The front page
of the test material you get will designate the group you are in.
Now, if you are willing to give up an hour of your free
time and volunteer to serve as a S in this research in role-
playing, please raise your hand, keep it up please.* 'he rest

The writer pretended to be counting the hands. This period of having
their hands up was expected to strengthen their sense of decision and
commitment as well as offer an opportunity for some undecided Ss to
identify with those who were indicating their decision to stay.









of you may take the advantage of your extra time and leave
now.

At this point the E paused and allowed those to leave who wished to do

so. The randomized RPT materials were passed out to those who remained

and the following instructions were given:

Please read the top page of the material given you. It will
tell you what group you are in. Now all who are in the Observer
group, please go with my assistant. All who are in the Supporter
group, please find a seat on the left side of the room if you are
not already there. And all in the Agreer group please find seats
on the right side of the room. While all these changes are being
made, write down the information requested on the front page,
your name, age, sex, classification, student number and birth
order, and then be glancing over the 20 negative statements.
Disregard the instructions on the second page until I tell you
to turn to them.

When all the changes had been made, the E stood in front of the

Supporter group and read their instructions. Then he did the same in

front of the Agreer group. This sequence was altered in each successive

experimental session. By physically separating the Ss into their

respective groups, it was easier to address the instructions to each

group and reduce the possibility of confusion. The instructions for

each of the two experimental groups were as follows (Appendix C):

SUPPORTER

This is a study of role-playing. First, pretend that you
have made these statements about yourself. It may be that you
have actually expressed such feelings on one occasion or the
other as many people have.
Second, pretend to take the role of someone, maybe a close
friend, who is trying to convince you that you are not really
that bad or that hopeless. Respond to each of these statements
in the role of this encouraging person by writing honest and
sincere replies that mention your good traits, your positive
qualities, your accomplishments, and your successes. Essentially
I want you to tell yourself about yourself but I want you to do
it in the role of someone who is supporting you by reminding you
of your good traits and achievements.
Here is an illustration. Statement: "I give up too easily."
Encouraging response: "If you gave up too easily you wouldn't
have gotten to date that girl you wanted to for so long and peo-
ple wouldn't depend on you the way they do. You couldn't have









brought that C in Biology up to a B, if you gave up too easily."
Briefly, then, the sequence is as follows: first, assume
you have made the negative statement. Second, mentally step
outside yourself and assume the role of an understanding person
who is trying to encourage you by reminding you of your specific
good characteristics and accomplishments. Third, write down as
many convincing facts as you can. Be specific in referring to
things that are true about yourself.

AGREE

This is a study in role-playing. First, pretend that you
have made these statements about yourself. It may be that you
have actually expressed such feelings on one occasion or the
other as many people have.
Second, now pretend to take the role of someone, a critical
person, who is agreeing with you that you really are as bad or
hopeless as the statement indicates. Respond to each of these
statements in the role of this critical person by writing honest
and sincere replies that mention your weaknesses, your negative
qualities, your failures, and your mistakes. Essentially, I
want you to tell yourself about yourself but I want you to do
it in the role of a critical person who is reminding you of
your bad points and failures.
Here is an illustration: Statement: "I am afraid of what
other people think of me." Agreeing response: "You should be
because you have certainly been selfish at times and have acted
like you knew it all. And another thing, remember when you
didn't do your share of the work because you didn't have any
sense of responsibility?"
Briefly, then, the sequence is as follows: First, assume
you have made the negative statement. Second, mentally step
outside yourself and assume the role of a critical person who
is agreeing with you by reminding you of your specific negative
qualities and mistakes. Third, write down as many convincing
facts as you can.

TO BOTH GROUPS

I shall read each statement, and give you two minutes in
which to write your response below the written form. Please
write until asked to stop. I will give you a ten-second warning
in which time try to complete the sentence you are writing.
If you have not finished when I announce that the time is up,
please stop writing, and give your attention to the next state-
ment as I read it. The main thing is to write down as many
facts about yourself as you can in an understandable form with
little regard to proper sentence construction and spelling.
This is not a test of those two skills. Use the back side of
the page if you need additional space.

Following the reading of the instructions, any questions regarding

the role-playing were briefly answered. Then the 20 negative statements









of the RPT were each read orally by the E followed by a two-minute

response time per statement. Following statements 1, 4, 8, 12, and

16, there was a one-minute break during which time additional illus-

trations of the two kinds of role-playing responses were read as a

means of reinforcing the concepts of the two roles. (See Appendix

E for this time sequence and illustrations read.) During these breaks

any additional questions were answered and Ss were encouraged to try

not to repeat themselves and they were cautioned against merely giving

advice in their responses. Agreers were especially cautioned against

the impulse to end some of the critical responses with some expression

of encouragement. Ss were frequently reminded that they should refer

to events and characteristics that were true of themselves.

While the Supporter and Agreer groups were taking the RPT, the

Observer group was watching 40 minutes of movies. When they first en-

tered the new room they were instructed to fill out the information

form on the sheet that designated them as Observers name, age, etc.

(Appendix C). Following the completing of this form, the assistant

gave them these instructions:

Your part in this research is to play the role of an Ob-
server. You will view 40 minutes of film following which you
will return to the other room and participate as one group again
in the last role-playing phase of this research. Regardless of
the nature of the films or the level of interest they may have
for you, try to play well your role as an Observer.

After the RPT was completed by the two experimental groups, the

Observer group returned to the main body of Ss and the SCS was again ad-

ministered to all Ss with the following instructions:

Print your name, student number and the date on the answer
sheet. Some of you have been describing only the positive or
the negative aspects of yourselves. Now as a final part of
this study of different kinds of role-playing, I want each of
you to respond to these 100 statements in the role of a self-
describing person by responding to each statement just as you









feel about yourself right now, whether it is positive or nega-
tive. You may be tempted to hurriedly respond, but you still
have plenty of time, so try to respond carefully, playing the
role of a person who is describing himself to himself.

All Ss were asked to remain until everyone had completed this

second administration of the SCS and the forms were taken up. The E

then thanked them and requested that they not talk about this research

while other appointments were being held so as not to prejudice or bias

any other student who might be involved as a S in a later appointment.

One week later, the colleague met again with these Ss, along with

those who did not volunteer to stay, and administered the SCS for the

last time, explaining:

In the final administration of this self-description scale,
respond according to the way you feel about yourself right now.
Put your Experimental Credit Cards on your desk. As you are
taking the test I will come by and sign your card the second
time. You will get an hours credit for a half hours work, so
you need not rush. No one is going to show up tonight to try
to get you to volunteer for more research; so you can relax
and enjoy the self-description scale.


Rating of Verbal Responses

It was assumed that relatively more dissonance would be experi-

enced in those Ss who had low self-concept scores and who admitted to

positive qualities, and likewise for Ss with high self-concept scores

who admitted to negative qualities. However, a more objective index

of discrepant behavior than the act of writing down statements was

needed. Therefore, the verbal responses of both experimental groups

were rated for the degree to which they were either positive or nega-

tive.

The major criterion for determining degree of positiveness or

negativeness was the specificity with which reference was made to actual

traits, qualities, characteristics, habits, accomplishments, failures, etc.









A three-point scale of specificity was developed for each experimen-

tal group. In the case of the Supporter Ss, those responses that made

specific reference to a positive personality trait, characteristic,

quality, accomplishment, or achievement were given a rating of "1,"

which was at the "most positive" end of the scale. Those responses

which made only a general reference to the items mentioned above were

given a rating of "2." A rating of "3" was given to all responses that

failed to meet either of te criteria for the other two ratings. State-

ments involving advice-giving, "you are not as bad as" type of compari-

sons, and vague explanations for why a person might say the stimulus

statement, are illustrative of this category which represents the "least

positive" end of the scale. It was not anticipated that responses of

this calibre would be very productive of dissonance in a S with a low

self-concept score.

In the case of the Agreer Ss, those responses that made specific

reference to a weakness, negative personality trait, a failure, mistake,

or bad habit were given a rating of "3," which was at the "most negative"

end of the scale. Those responses which only made a general reference

to the qualities mentioned above were given a rating of "2." A rating

of "l" was given to all responses that failed to meet either of the

criteria for the other two ratings. Statements involving advice-giving,

commands, or affirmation of the validity of the negative stimulus state-

ment without reference to any negative quality, are illustrative of this

category which represents the "least negative" end of the scale for Ag

Agreers.

Ten graduate students in clinical psychology served as judges,

five of whom rated the verbal responses of all the Supporter Ss and









five of whom rated the responses of all the Agreer Ss. Their set of

instructions (Appendix F) included sample responses that were illustra-

tive of the three different categories. Judges of Supporter responses

were instructed to give the total response only one rating and to rate

in the direction of "l." That is, if there was any mention of a specific

trait or accomplishment, regardless of what else was written, the total

response was to be given a rating of "l." If there were no specific

references that would justify a rating of "1," then they were to look

for any instance in which the criterion for a rating of "2" was used

and so on. Judges of the Agreer responses were to rate in the direction

of "3" with similar instructions provided (Appendix F).

The writer conducted an orientation for each set of judges and

provided them with printed instructions and illustrations of the rating

criteria. Each judge worked on a set of approximately ten protocols

at a time which distributed the judging task over a period of three

weeks. Initially, all judges in each group worked on the same set of

six protocols. This was done in order to confine to the same set of

protocols any differences between judges which might be due to their

becoming familiar with the rating criteria. Thereafter, no particular

sequence was followed; i.e., one judge might be rating the second set

while another was rating the third set and another the fourth set, etc.

Ratings by each judge were recorded on a form separate from the

RPT so that no ratings were recorded on the protocols themselves, and

there was no collaboration between judges. Each S received 20 ratings

from each of the five judges. These 100 ratings were averaged providing

a RPT mean rating for each S in the Supporter and Agreer groups. The

percentage of agreement of each judges'rating with the modal rating









for that statement was derived. These twenty percentages were averaged

to obtain an index of agreement between judges. (See Appendix G for

sample of the judge's rating form and the scoring form on which the

ratings from the five judges were analyzed.)


Predictions

The first two predictions were related to the difference between

subgroups with regard to their change score from the SCS pretest to the

first posttest. The third prediction was related to the difference be-

tween the performance of subgroups on the pretest and the second post-

test. The fourth and fifth predictions were related to the relationship

between the degree of positiveness or negativeness in the verbal responses

of Ss and the amount of their increase or decrease respectively from the

pretest to the first posttest. The five predictions were as follows:

1. The Low Supporter group's increase in score from pretest to

first posttest will be greater than that of the High Supporter group.

2. The High Agreer group's decrease in score from pretest to first

posttest will be greater than that of the Low Agreer group.

3. The second posttest performance of the Low Supporter and High

Agreer Ss will not differ from their pretest performance.

4. Within the Low Supporter group the level of positiveness in

verbal responses will be positively related to the amount of increase in

self-concept score on the first posttest.

5. Within the High Agreer group the level of negativeness in the

verbal responses will be positively related to the amount of decrease in

self-concept score on the first posttest.









Analysis

The major focus of this study was the differential response of

subgroups to treatment. On the basis of cognitive dissonance theory it

was anticipated that the Ss in the Supporter group whose SCS pretest

scores were below the mean would experience more dissonance as a func-

tion of playing a supportive role than Ss whose self-concept scores were

above the mean.

By means of the experimental design an attempt was made to set up

the modification of self-attitudes as the most accessible means of re-

ducing dissonance. It was assumed that any change in self-attitude would

be reflected in a change in SCS score. It was predicted that the Low

Supporter Ss would show a greater increase in first posttest score than

would the High Supporter Ss.

Likewise, Agreer Ss with self-concept scores above the mean were

expected to experience greater dissonance as a function of playing a

criticizing role than Ss with self-concept scores below the mean. It was

predicted that the High Agreer Ss would show a greater decrease in self-

concept score on the first posttest than would the Low Agreer Ss.

The role-playing of the High Supporter Ss and the Low Agreer Ss

was not considered to be discrepant with their self-attitudes and there-

fore dissonance arousal would be minimal and significant change in their

self-concept scores was not expected. Also, as a control group, the

activity of the Low and High Observer Ss was not considered to be dis-

crepant with their self-attitudes and therefore significant change in

their self-concept scores was not expected.

Predictions one and two regarding the differential behavior of sub-

groups could have been tested by determining the significance of the









treatment by level interaction of change scores from pretest to first

posttest and a test of the significance of the interaction between test

and level for each treatment group where the pretest and first posttest

scores were considered. Thus the analysis of variance of these scores

would have been the appropriate statistical method for treating the data

except for two conditions present in the experimental design of this

study which made an alternative method more appropriate.

First, after Ss were randomly assigned to one of the three treat-

ment groups, they were then assigned to one of the levels within that

treatment group on the basis of their pretest scores. This procedure re-

sulted in an unequal number of Ss in the treatment subgroups. In the

analysis of variance of the test data, only tests of significance of main

effects can be gotten free of bias or distortion due to disproportional

frequencies (Yates, 1934), whereas, one of the most crucial tests in this

study involved an interaction.

Secondly, any analysis of variance in which level was used as one

of the sources of variability would lead to complications because level

is a function of or is derived from the pretest score. Level is in fact

the pretest score on a much coarser or less precise scale than the actual

pretest scores. Thus the use of level as an accountable source of

variability in SCS scores might produce anomalous results.

The alternative method of analysis in which disproportionate sub-

group frequencies would not present the difficulties they do in the analysis

of variance was a regression analysis (Fisher, 1958) in which the re-

gression of first posttest scores on pretest scores for each of the three

treatment groups was determined. Such an analysis would indicate: if

the Low Supporter and High Supporter Ss reacted differentially to the act









of positive role-playing; if the Low Agreer Ss and High Agreer Ss

reacted differentially to the act of negative role-playing; and if the

Low and High Observer Ss reacted similarly to the act of observing movies

which were unrelated to self-attitudes.

Let x stand for pretest score and y for first posttest score,

then the equation of the linear relation of first posttest score to pre-

test score will be of the form y = a + bx. The b which is commonly called

the slope, is the rate of change in first posttest score per unit change

in pretest score. The a in this equation, which is commonly called the

intercept, is a function of the mean of y and of the mean of x.

If the rate of change is constant, within the bounds of random

sampling, throughout the range of pretest scores from lowest to highest

levels, the regression is linear and the above equation will suffice.

However, if the change in first posttest score per unit change in pre-

test score departs significantly from constant, as would be the case if

low and high Ss reacted differentially on the first posttest, then the

relation is non-linear and a non-linear regression equation must be

fitted to the data in order to reflect properly the behavior of the

first posttest scores in relation to the pretest scores.

With regard to treating the data by the classification of Low and

High (levels) in the regression analysis actual pretest scores would be

used in order to retain as much precision as possible and because the

mean may not be the breaking point in case the stated predictions re-

garding levels were correct. In summary, a regression analysis would

permit the data itself to indicate the presence or absence of a treat-

ment by level interaction and the point at which this differential be-

havior began within the treatment group. Therefore a regression analysis









of the pretest and first posttest scores was used as a test of predic-

tions one and two with a .05 level of significance being required.

The predicted change on the first posttest for the Low Supporters

and High Agreers was expected to dissipate in the absence of additional

reinforcement of the treatment condition so that the performance of

these two subgroups on the second posttest was expected to be similar

to their pretest performance. For reasons which will be given in the

next chapter this third prediction was not tested. The data for both

levels in each treatment group were combined and the significance of

group comparisons was tested by means of an analysis of variance of the

pretest and second posttest scores in which level was not a variable

and an adjustment was made for disproportionate frequencies. The .01

level of significance was required.

The more positive Low Supporter Ss were in their verbal responses,

the more dissonance they should have experienced and thus the greater

the increase in change score from pretest to the first posttest. The

same relationship was expected between the degree of negativeness in the

responses of the High Agreer Ss and the amount of decrease in self-

concept score. However, predictions four and five were not tested.

Instead, the data for both levels in each treatment group were combined

and a test of the above relationship was made on the group performance

by means of deriving correlation coefficients.
















CHAPTER III


RESULTS



The first question to be answered by means of a regression

analysis was concerning the linearity or non-linearity of the regres-

sion lines of first posttest scores on pretest scores for the three

treatment groups. If the data substantiated the predictions concerning

the effect of treatment in the Supporter and Agreer groups, then the

regressions would be non-linear though of a distinctly different sort

in the two groups. In the Supporter group, the rate of change of the

first posttest scores would be greater for the lower pretest scores

than for the higher and in the Agreer group the rate of change of the

first posttest scores would be greater for the higher pretest scores.

But in the Observer group, the rate of change would not vary signifi-

cantly from constant so that a first degree regression equation would

suffice.

Letting x stand for pretest score and y for first posttest score

the prediction for each of the treatment groups is that there is no sig-

nificant linear regression of y on x. The probability that this predic-

tion is correct is determined by comparing the two variances shown in

Table 4. The source of variance designated "regression" is that portion

of the variance in y accounted for by its linear regression on x. The

source of variance designated "deviation" is that portion of the variance

in y that is not accounted for by its linear regression on x. If this













Table 4


Significance Tests of the Linearity of Regression of
First Posttest Scores on Pretest Scores
for Three Treatment Groups


SUPPORTER

Sum of Mean
Source D/F Squares Square F P


Regression 1 52782.09 52782.09 555.81 .001

Deviation 56 5318.02 94.96

Total 57 58101.11


AGREER

Sum of Mean
Source D/F Squares Square F P


Regression 1 29959.83 29959.83 68.02 .001

Deviation 39 17178.27 440.47

Total 40 47138.10


OBSERVER

Sum of Mean
Source D/F Squares Squares F P


Regression 1 44291.57 44291.57 500.94 .001

Deviation 37 3271.41 88.42

Total 38 47562.98









comparison results in a probability which is greater than .05 the pre-

diction is retained and the interpretation is that there is no signifi-

cant linear regression. However, if the probability is as small as .05,

the prediction is rejected and the interpretation is that there is a

significant linear regression of y on x.

Table 3 presents the tests of significance for linearity. The

probability level in each of the three t ts reaches .001. The interpre-

tation of these results is that the regressions for all three treatment

groups did not depart from linearity. The relationship of the first post-

test scores to the pretest scores is a linear one along the entire range

of pretest scores.

The lack of significant relationship between amount of change in

self-concept score and pretest level is further indicated by the absence

of any correlation between these two variables: Supporters -.11, Agreers

-.14, and Observers .27. The fact that these correlation coefficients

are small and are not statistically significant precludes any interpreta-

tion of their meaning except to stress that the relationship between pre-

test score and degree of change on the first posttest is not a consistent

one. A greater amount of change is not more characteristic at one level

than at the other.

In Figure 2 the solid line reflects a condition in which the change

in y per unit change in x is constant for all levels and equal to 1. It

may be observed that the regression line for each group is nearly parallel

to the solid line indicating that Ss at every level of pretest score for

a given group tended to be similar to each other in their first posttest

behavior. A comparison of the slopes of these three regression lines

with that of the solid line by means of t tests indicated that they did
































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not depart significantly from parallelism.

Table 5 reflects the lack of difference between levels in terms

of the mean change score for the two levels within each group and the

difference between these mean change scores. The mean increase for Low

Supporters (7.41) and for High Supporters (4.56) represents a difference

between them of only 2.85 while the mean decrease in score for High

Agreers (-13.95) and Low Agreers (-6.63) represents a difference in mean

change of 7.32. Likewise, the High Observer group (6.63) increased 5.08

mean score points more than did the Low Observers (1.55).



Table 5


Mean Change Score from Pretest to First Posttest
for Two Levels Within Three Treatment Groups




Low SCS Scores High SCS Scores

N Mean N Mean Difference


Supporter 22 7.41 36 4.56 2.85

Agreer 19 -6.63 22 -13.95 7.32

Observer 20 1.55 19 6.63 5.08



The similarity in performance on all three tests by the High and

Low Ss in each group is graphically represented in Figure 3, where it may

be noted that the trends for both levels within each treatment group are

almost parallel.

The conclusion that was drawn from this regression analysis re-

garding the performance of the two levels of Ss within each treatment














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group was that though they differ with respect to pretest level of self-

concept score, they do not differ with respect to amount and rate of

change on the first posttest. In whatever manner they did differ in

reaction to the experimental treatment this difference was not reflected

in their performance on the first posttest.

Therefore, predictions one and two were not confirmed. The data

indicate that the within-group behavior is similar at both levels and

therefore meaningful comparisons should be made between entire treatment

groups rather than between subgroups. However, whatever the results of

such comparisons might be, they do not indicate anything regarding the

theory of cognitive dissonance since on the basis of dissonance theory

one would not have made predictions about the behavior of the total group

but rather, as was done, predictions would have been made regarding sub-

group performance.

In light of the results of the regression analysis, it was no

longer appropriate to treat the data by subgroup level when comparing pre-

test and first posttest performances. Therefore, predictions four and

five were no longer appropriate predictions, that is, it was no longer

meaningful to make such comparisons between test performance at a sub-

group level in that with respect to the theory from which the predictions

were generated, the results of such comparisons would be ambiguous.

Even though the results of comparisons between total treatment

groups do not indicate anything regarding the theory of cognitive dis-

sonance, such comparisons are of empirical interest. Therefore, in

Appendix H the reader will find a detailed presentation of the correla-

tion between level of positiveness in the verbal responses of the Supporter

Ss and the amount of increase in their change score and the correlation









between level of negativeness in the verbal responses of the Agreer Ss

and the amount of decrease in their change score. In both cases the

correlation coefficients were extremely small and non-significant. The

method and results of testing for interjudge reliability is also pre-

sented in Appendix H. There was high level of agreement among judges in

their ratings of the positiveness or negativeness of verbal responses

which reduced the probability that the reported lack of relationship be-

tween mean rating and amount of change was due to lack of agreement

among judges.

Comparisons between group performance on test administrations is

also of empirical interest although the results are not meaningfully

related to the basic concerns of this research. In Appendix I a summary

table of analysis of variance is presented along with a brief explanation

and interpretation of the main effects. This is an analysis of the scores

of the three treatment groups for all three test administrations with

subgroup level no longer considered as a source of variability. The only

remaining defect in the use of the method of analysis of variance is that

tests of significance for interactions represent only close approximations

(Brandt, 1963) since they are not free of distortions due to dispropor-

tionate frequencies. Therefore, unless the tests of significance for

interactions reached the .01 level they were not accepted as significant.

Only two of the main effects were significant while not one of the inter-

actions was significant.

Prediction three was a prediction that second posttest performance

of the Low Supporter and High Agreer Ss would not differ from their

respective pretest performances. This prediction was not tested. Since

the Low Supporter Ss did not behave differently than the High Supporter Ss









in the amount of change in score from pretest to first posttest and since

there was no reason to then expect them to behave differently from each

other on the second posttest, the two groups were combined and a test

was made for the total Supporter group on the difference between pretest

and second posttest. The same procedure was carried out for the Agreer

group. As reported in Appendix I each group did not differ in its pre-

test and second posttest performance.


Summary of Results

Ss with low pretest self-concept scores and Ss with high pretest

self-concept scores did not react differently to the experimental treat-

ments. Low Supporters and High Supporters both increased in first post-

test score at a similar rate. Low Agreers and High Agreers both de-

creased in first posttest score at a similar rate. Predictions one and

two were not confirmed.

Since subgroups did not react differently to the treatment condi-

tions, predictions three, four, and five were not tested directly. The

data for subgroups were combined and comparisons were made between treat-

ment groups. Since the results of such comparisons were not relevant

to cognitive dissonance formulations, they are presented in the appendix.
















CHAPTER IV


DISCUSSION



The results failed to verify the two main predictions based on

cognitive dissonance theory. With regard to the pretest to first post-

test change score, Low Supporters did not react to the experimental

treatment any differently than High Supporters. High Agreers did not

react differently from Low Agreers.

The fact that the predictions generated from the theory of cog-

nitive dissonance were not confirmed raises several important questions.

Does this failure reflect some inadequacy on the part of the theory to

explain human behavior or did the experimenter fail to effect the con-

ditions which according to the theory, are sufficient to modify attitudes?

There were four such conditions. A discussion of the effectiveness of

the experimental design in realizing each of these conditions follows.


Discrepant Behavior

The first condition was to induce the S to perform some verbal be-

havior which was discrepant with his attitudes (behavior that would follow

consistently only from the obverse of his attitudes). It was assumed

that the act of making positive self-references would be discrepant be-

havior for Ss with self-concept scores below the mean but would not be

discrepant for Ss whose scores were above the mean. The obverse was

assumed regarding the act of making negative self-references. The









concept "discrepant behavior" in this context actually implies two

assumptions: with respect to Ss who score below the mean on the SCS,

the first assumption is that they do not generally say positive things

about themselves, and secondly, to do so would produce dissonance;

and with respect to Ss who score above the mean, the first assumption

is that they do not generally say negative things about themselves,

and secondly, to do so would produce dissonance.

If these two assumptions are not true, then it is possible that

the reason the predicted results did not occur was because cognitive dis-

sonance was simply not aroused. Since these assumptions were not verified

prior to this study, the point cannot be argued further and until they

are verified, these assumptions confound the meaningfulness of the results.

It cannot be stated with certainty that the first sufficient condition,

that of "discrepant behavior," for modifying attitudes was effected.

Therefore, the theory of cognitive dissonance remains relatively intact

in spite of the statistical results which failed to confirm the several

predictions which this theory generated.

The two assumptions involved in the concept "discrepant behavior"

could be tested. In so doing, one might develop criteria for selecting

Ss that would be more relevant and would possess more specificity than

SCS scores. Such a development would also remove the difficulty en-

countered in this study when SCS pretest scores were used for two pur-

poses: criterion for assignment to level and base for determining

amount of change score.

A study could be designed in which Ss were asked questions to

which they were free to answer spontaneously with either positive or

negative self-references. An index of the ratio of the number of









positive to negative statements over a given length of time could be

determined for each S. As a matter of throwing some light upon the

results of the present study, the relationship between such an index

and level of SCS score could be determined. This would answer the ques-

tion of whether Ss with low self-concept scores do not characteristi-

cally make positive self-references, etc.

A second phase of such a proposed study would be to determine

whether or not Ss feel uncomfortable when they make positive self-

references if they have a small index for this type of behavior and to

determine if the converse is true for Ss who have a small index for

saying negative things about themselves. This could be determined by

permitting Ss to chose the type of role-playing they preferred. On the

basis of the pleasure principle, one would predict that Ss with high

indexes for admitting positive qualities would select the Supporter role

while Ss who generally said negative things about themselves would se-

lect the Agreer role. Or, a more conclusive method might be to permit

Ss to experience both types of role-playing and then to indicate the

type of role-playing experience they enjoyed the most and felt most com-

fortable doing. Again the predictions would be the same. However, the

latter method would involve the use of actual conscious reactions to the

different roles while the former would be based on the anticipations the

Ss had regarding either role.

A second question related to whether or not dissonance was gener-

ated by the present experimental design has to do with the types of

role-playing which were used as the treatment conditions. Once criteria

have been determined for selecting Ss who do experience a psychological

discomfort from the act of making positive or negative self-references,









then an answer to this particular question can be forthcoming. The

question is whether or not playing the role of someone else who is

making statements which are discrepant with one's own self-attitudes is

productive of dissonance. Perhaps playing the role of oneself in a

situation in which he is having to defend himself against someone he

dislikes and who is criticizing him would be a more dissonance-arousing

experience. Or an E might simply approach Ss on the basis of being

interested in what people say about themselves when they can only say

positive things or when they can only say negative things.

In conclusion, little can be said to affirm that the first con-

dition was effected since several untested assumptions were involved.

However, suggestions have been given regarding how these assumptions

might be tested. Such a study would result in some support or criticism

of the present design, but more importantly, it would provide a more

crucial test of the adequacy of the dissonance theory to generate test-

able predictions relevant to modifying self-concept.

Regarding the present design and collected data, one might expect

that using the upper and lower half of the range of pretest scores would

result in the inclusion of too many Ss in both levels whose scores are

so close to the mean that they probably had no strong reactions to their

respective experimental treatments. However, the Ss within the Supporter

and Agreer groups were divided into thirds, and the performance of the

lower one-third compared with the lower half and the upper one-third

compared with the upper half. There was no significant difference in

their mean change scores. Nor were the mean change scores for the lower

one-third and upper one-third in each of these groups significantly

different.









No Justification

The second condition specified by dissonance theory was that

the inducement of the S to participate in the research had to be such

that he had little justification for his discrepant behavior, i.e.,

there had to be little or no reward nor perceived coercion. If the S

felt he was receiving adequate pay for performing the discrepant be-

havior, or that he was forced to participate against his will, then he

was in a position to justify the behavior and thereby reduce the

supposed dissonance. If he could not justify his behavior, he was more

likely to modify his self-attitudes in the direction of the behavior.

In the present study if might be contended that the Ss volun-

teered to participate in the role-playing experiment because they knew

they were going to get credit for the additional time required whether

they participated or not. Some Ss may have felt obligated to do so.

Others may have felt that since they were getting credit for the time

they might just as well volunteer. Still others may have been suspicious

that if they did not volunteer then the credit might somehow be taken

away from them. Volunteering because of more personal values may have

been very rewarding to others, e.g., interest in research, curiosity,

desire to help the experimenter, etc. And any number of additional ra-

tionalizations might have been utilized as a means of justifying their

participation in the discrepant behavior. Indeed one might make the

observation that in the face of almost 50 percent of the students not

volunteering to participate, those who did decide to remain were highly

motivated for one or more reasons and that this motivation might be seen

by the Ss as a justifiable reason for behaving in a discrepant manner.

Since no information regarding their reasons for volunteering was









collected from the Ss, the opinion that the volunteer Ss did not feel

either greatly influenced or well rewarded cannot be directly defended.

However, in numerous studies reported in the literature in which the

results verified the hypotheses generated from dissonance formulations,

the same methods for getting Ss to volunteer were employed. In some

of these studies experimental credit was even given as a means of

motivating Ss to "volunteer." There is no reason to expect that the

motivation referred to above served to reduce the dissonance of the Ss

in this study, but did not do so in other reported studies.

Originally, the writer decided against any attempt to collect

information regarding the motivation of the volunteering Ss. Question-

naires designed to accomplish this purpose often suggest to the S

what he is supposed to feel or be motivated by. Also, in view of the

several administrations of the SCS and the forty minutes of writing

verbal responses, it was anticipated that one more scale might have

collected more data about hostility and frustration than motives for

volunteering. But to have begun the Role Playing Test with the fol-

lowing statement, "Indicate the several reasons why you decided to par-

ticipate in this study in role-playing and using a 10-point scale assign

the relative weight each factor had in contributing to your decision,"

may have elicited a variety of unsuggested motivations with their per-

ceived relative importance and at a time when the Ss were most conscious-

ly aware of them.


Volition

The third condition specified by dissonance theory was that the

S should perceive that he had on his own volition chosen to perform the

discrepant behavior. The matter of volition and choice are very important









to dissonance theory. An attempt was made to explain the role-playing

activity. Ss knew that they would be randomly assigned to the groups.

The only way they could be certain of not being assigned to a treatment

they disliked was to get up and leave. Forty-nine percent of the stu-

dents did choose to leave. Therefore, it strongly appears that those

who stayed exercised personal choice in the matter. Again, Ss could

have been questioned regarding the amount of personal choice they per-

ceived they had exercised in volunteering. However, in a pilot study

in which 99 percent of the Ss remained for the volunteer part, the

majority of them felt that they had volunteered of their own free will.


Irrevocable Consequences

The fourth and final condition specified by dissonance theory as

sufficient for modifying attitudes was that, where applicable, the con-

sequences of the discrepant behavior should be fairly irrevocable. Ss

were instructed to make true references with regard to traits they

possessed and the quality of meaningful experiences. They were to be

genuine, sincere, and specific in what they said. Reading through the

verbal responses of all of the Ss, one gains the impression that the vast

majority of the Ss succeeded in carrying out these instructions. The

mean rating for the positiveness and negativeness of verbal responses

reported in Chapter III indicated considerable involvement in the act

of role-playing. This much of their behavior was irrevocable.

However, whether or not the act of simply writing these responses

down was realistic enough to be perceived as discrepant behavior is a

question the answer to which cannot be determined. There are studies in

the literature which report significant results and in which the act of

writing a verbal response is the extent of the role-playing. In most of









these studies there is considerably less writing than in the present

study. One possible way of improving the present design would be to

assign Ss to small groups following the completion of the RPT for the

purpose of reading their responses to each other under the guise of

rating the degree of involvement in role-playing. This should result

in strengthening the irrevocableness of the behavior. But a more

effective modification would be the use of actual role-playing, in-

volving several trials of interpersonal interaction with an auxilliary

ego.

Of the four conditions, the first two involved assumptions on

which there is no data for determining if the assumptions were met.

Therefore, the failure to achieve the predicted results may be a func-

tion of invalid assumptions or the difficulty in dissonance theory of

generating testable predictions, or both. But on the basis of the pre-

sent data the reason these predictions were not confirmed cannot be

specified with certainty. However, suggestions are offered for studies

which might be effective in providing additional empirical evidence for

differentiating the reasons that the predictions of this study were not

confirmed.

Another possibility for the failure of the data to confirm the

predictions is that there may have been changes which were undetected

by the SCS or unobserved by the E since no other data were collected.

The SCS total score was used as the basic raw datum. However, this

score is the sum of three row scores on one dimension of the instrument

and is the sum of five column scores on another dimension of the instru-

ment. The three rows have to do with levels of descriptions: Abstract,

Satisfaction, and Functional. The five columns have to do with









significant areas of the individual's life and experience about which

he is expected to have definite attitudes: Physical attributes, Moral-

ethical values, Psychological qualities, Family relationships, and

Secondary relationships. Meaningful inter-row and inter-column changes

could have occurred which are unseen when only the total score is ob-

served.

There may have been changes in response set with some Ss be-

coming more denying of positive statements and more accepting of nega-

tively phrased statements and vice-versa. This may be a more meaning-

ful way to look at the data rather than using the total score.

One of the criticisms (Chapanis and Chapanis, 1964) of the de-

signs employed in cognitive dissonance research is that Ss are not asked

regarding their conscious feelings of discomfort related to the experi-

mental treatment. Instead, the presence of dissonance is always in-

ferred from behavior that is interpreted to be attempts at dissonance

reduction. Since dissonance is also described as psychological dis-

comfort of which the individual is conscious, Chapanis and Chapanis re-

commend that Ss be questioned about their feelings. This failure happens

to be one of the weaknesses of the design used in this study.

In each subgroup of all three treatment groups, Ss changed on

their first posttest scores in both directions from the pretest scores.

For example, in the Low Supporter group 16 Ss increased on the first

posttest while six Ss decreased in score. It is not known if these two

sets of Low Supporter Ss experienced the same or different feelings in

response to the treatment. Likewise, in the Low Agreer group eight Ss

increased while nine Ss decreased and two Ss maintained the same score.

These Ss reacted differently in terms of test scores. Did they differ









as to what they felt about themselves? How is it that some Ss showed

more positive self-attitudes after being critical of themselves while

other Ss showed more negative feelings toward themselves? If they had

been asked regarding their feelings, there might be some explanation

for the observation referred to above. Indeed, if Ss differ in their

reactions, it may be assumed that they differ either in their feelings

or in the manner in which they deal with the same feeling.

Several recent studies have compared the efficacy of dissonance

theory with that of other theories in explaining the results of research

in which attitude change was attempted. Janis and Gilmore (1965) found

that "incentive" theory accounted for the results of a role-playing

study in which the observation was made that more attitude change

occurred when overt role-playing was carried out under favorable spon-

sorship than under unfavorable sponsorship conditions. Dissonance theory

would have predicted the opposite results.

According to incentive theory:

When a person accepts the task of improvising arguments
in favor of a point of view at variance with his own personal
convictions, he becomes temporarily motivated to think up all
the good arguments he can, and at the same time suppresses
thoughts about the negative arguments . the "biased scanning"
increases the salience of the positive arguments and therefore
increases the chances of acceptance of the new attitude posi-
tion. A gain in attitude change would not be expected, how-
ever, if resentment or other interfering affective reactions were
aroused by negative incentives in the role-playing situation
Thus, incentive theory predicts that role-playing will be
more successful in inducing attitude change if the sponsor is
perceived as someone whose affiliations are benign in character
and whose intentions are to promote public welfare (Janis and
Gilmore, 1965, p. 17).


To some extent, the results of the present study may be explained

by the incentive theory. The role-playing may have elicited more biased

scanning and increased the salience of new incentives, thus increasing









the likelihood of attitude change. This would be more true for the

Agreer Ss than for the Supporter Ss. The differential effect observed

between the two groups may reflect the fact that in order for Ss to

feel more positive toward themselves, more time in role-playing is re-

quired than is necessary in order to produce an increase in negative

feelings.

Rosenberg (1965) failed to confirm Brehm and Cohen's (1962,

p. 73-78) findings when he used almost identical procedures, but pro-

duced opposite results: the greater amount of attitude change occurred

among role players who were paid the largest amount of money. He had

one E administer the role-playing procedure and another E, who was

completely independent of the former E, tested the Ss' final attitudes.

In this respect, his study differed from Brehm and Cohen's and raised

serious questions regarding the influence of evaluation apprehension

and affect arousal within Ss as systematic, data-biasing contaminants

which dissonance theory fails to take into consideration. Rosenberg

concludes that the generality of dissonance is of somewhat smaller scope

than its advocates have estimated and that certain kinds of attitude

change are better accounted for by other theories.

Chapanis and Chapanis (1964) present a critique of all the major

research generated by dissonance theory in which they make two general

criticisms. First, the experimental manipulations involved in much of

the dissonance research were usually so complex that crucial variables

were confounded and other internal states were often produced which

could contaminate or even account for the findings. Consequently, no

valid conclusions could be drawn from the data. The second criticism

was related to the number of serious fundamental methodological






60


inadequacies in both the experimental designs and the analysis of the

results. They conclude that the theory is not upheld on the basis of

all the available evidence.

The present study also raises a question regarding the adequacy

of the theory for generating testable predictions. However, there are

several basic assumptions involved in the design of the present study

which must be demonstrated as valid before any definitive conclusions

can be drawn from the findings of this study regarding cognitive

dissonance theory.
















CHAPTER V


SUMMARY



According to cognitive dissonance theory, it should be possible

to effect a change in self-attitudes under certain conditions involving

dissonance between two sets of cognitions about oneself. In the present

study a design using role-playing as a means of inducing dissonance was

employed to test predictions derived from this theory.

From an original pool of 266 Ss who took a self-concept scale,

138 volunteered to participate in a role-playing experiment: 58 of

them (Supporters) played a role in which they said positive things

about themselves, 41 of them (Agreers) played a role in which they said

negative things about themselves, and 39 of them (Observers) watched

movies while the other Ss were role-playing. Immediately following the

role-playing all Ss took the same self-concept scale a second time, and

also a third time one week later.

In each of the treatment groups, those Ss whose pretest scores

were below the pretest mean of all Ss were designated as the Low group

while those Ss whose scores were above that mean were designated as the

High group. It was predicted that the Low Supporters would significantly

increase in score on the first posttest as compared to the High Supporters

and that the High Agreers would significantly decrease in score on the

first posttest as compared to the Low Agreers. It was assumed that the

role-playing behavior of these two subgroups, Low Supporters and High

61









Agreers, would be discrepant with their self-attitudes and that they

would experience dissonance. Their change in self-concept score was to

be the basis for inferring the presence and reduction of this disso-

nance.

This modification in self-attitude as inferred by change in self-

concept score was not expected to persist without additional reinforce-

ment and therefore it was predicted that on the second posttest the per-

formance of these two subgroups would not be different from their pre-

test performance. It was also predicted that the degree of positiveness

in the verbal statements of the Low Supporters would be positively re-

lated to the amount of increase in score while the degree of negative-

ness in the verbal responses of the High Agreers would be positively re-

lated to the amount of decrease in score.

By means of regression analysis, it was demonstrated that the two

levels within each of the three treatment groups did not differ from

each other in their first posttest performance. Therefore, all the pre-

dictions regarding the differential behavior of levels were rejected.

It can not be said with certainty that the failure of the results

to confirm the predictions indicates an inadequacy of the dissonance

theory to generate testable predictions. It was assumed that the act

of positive role-playing would be discrepant behavior for Ss with low

self-concept scores and that the act of negative role-playing would be

discrepant behavior for Ss with high self-concept scores. If this assump-

tion is a valid one, then the theory failed to generate testable predic-

tions regarding the arousal and reduction of dissonance. However, until

the validity of this assumption is tested the results of this study can-

not be interpreted as failing to support the dissonance theory. A method

for testing the validity of this basic assumption was proposed.











































APPENDICES










APPENDIX A


TDMH Self-concept Scale



The present form of the TDMH Self-concept Scale represents an

attempt to construct a readily applicable scale which would be simple

enough in wording and mechanics to be used with practically all of the

literate population; short enough so that the average person can com-

plete the task in a few minutes; and yet subject to detailed breakdown

and analysis for interpretive purposes.


The Scale

This scale has in general been developed according to the typical

pattern for such scales, following the usual steps of: A. developing a

large pool of self-descriptive statements, B. editing these items for du-

plications, confusion of wording, ambiguity, etc., C. classifying the

items into a tentative theoretical schema, D. obtaining judgments by

qualified judges as to the proper classification of each item in the

theoretical schema, E. analyzing the data from the judges and selecting

the items on which the judges agree as to classification, F. selecting

the final items for the scale, and G. tryout of the scale with collection

of preliminary reliability and validity data. The development of the

scale has now progressed to stage G and is presented in the test manual

recently published (1965).

The TDMH scale is an extension of Balester's (1956) idea of building

into a self-concept scale certain categories of self-referent items

which would yield a profile of scores in addition to the total score.

The schema which was developed for classifying the statements

64









represents an effort to subject the data to a more intensive quantita-

tive analysis than is possible with self-concept scales which yield only

a single, total score. Categories of self-descriptive statements were

developed which were logically meaningful, mutually exclusive and subject

to common interpretation by judges. Seven judges, psychologists and/or

students who had concentrated on self-theory and problems involving the

self-concept, selected the final items according to the classification

schema. Only those items were used for which there was agreement by six

out of seven judges as to the proper classification of the statement.

The large pool of self-descriptive statements were differentiated

along one dimension of variation according to what the individual was

saying about himself, and along a second dimension according to the frame

of reference which the individual was using. With respect to the first

dimension in which statements express some fact about the person, these

statements were logically divided into three categories: Abstract-

descriptions in which the individual is primarily describing what he is --

the traits and characteristics he observes as he "backs off and looks

upon himself as a perceptual object"; References of Self-satisfaction

in which the individual is describing how he feels in regards to what he

is; and Functional Descriptions in which the individual is describing

his behavior as he perceives it, thus describing what he is indirectly

by saying what he does. These three categories represent the rows on

the score sheet.

The second dimension along which the pool of self-descriptive

statements were distributed was the frame of reference which the indi-

vidual was using. Some of the statements referred to the self in a

physical sense, while others were based on moral, psychological or social









referents. Five categories represent the major frames of reference into

which the statements were divided along this dimension: Physical charac-

teristics, moral-ethical characteristics, psychological characteristics,

primary group membership, secondary group membership. These five cate-

gories represent the columns on the score sheet.

Thus there are two dimensions of categories which apply to all of

the statements. Each statement in this scale falls within a definite cate-

gory of one dimension and also in one of the categories of the other di-

mension. If the score sheet is thought of as a 3 x 5 table, each item of

the scale falls within a certain cell of this table. Judgment as to the

exact cell where each item belongs was the task of the seven judges who

were used in developing the scale.

The statements also vary along a third dimension -- the positive

negative continuum. The 90 items which constitute the scale contain 45

positive and 45 negative statements. This classification is based upon

whether the statement is a "good" or "bad" thing to say about oneself --

whether it is psychologically desirable or undesirable to perceive one-

self in this light. The seven judges agreed unanimously in classifying

these statements as either positive or negative.


Score Sheet

The three row categories which constitute one dimension and the

five column categories which constitute a second dimension are so arranged

on the score sheet as to form a 3 x 5 table with 15 cells. Each cell

contains six statements which come under the appropriate categories of

both the vertical and horizontal axes: three of these statements are

positive and three of them are negative. The S responds to each state-

ment by indicating how true or false it is of him using a scale of 1 5










with "1" being completely false and "5" being completely true. The

cell score is the result of subtracting the numerical values given to

the negative statements from the values given to the positive statements.

Summing the cell scores across columns or down rows results in

eight separate scores on the basis of which a profile can be plotted.

Summing the marginal scores in either direction gives the total self-

concept score which was utilized in the present research.

The ten Lie Scale items are scored separately and give an indica-

tion of the degree of defensiveness and amount of distortion present in

the profile and total score.


Reliability

Fitts reports a reliability study based on a two-week test retest

plan for 60 psychology students using the Pearson Product-moment correla-

tion. He reports (below) reliability coefficients for the column and row


Cell Scores
Row
A B C D E Scores;*

1. .88 .79 .77 .80 .85 .91
2. .73 .49 .78 .86 .81 .88
3. .82 .79 .80 .78 .79 .88
Column
Scores* .87 .80 .85 .89 .90

L Score .75 Total Score .92

*A Physical characteristics '" 1 Abstract
B Moral-ethical characteristics description
C Psychological characteristics 2 Self
D Primary group membership description
E Secondary group membership 3 Functional
description

scores ranging from .80 to .91, a coefficient of .92 for the total score,

and coefficients ranging from .49 to .88 for cell scores.












APPENDIX B


Self-Concept Scale






DO NOT OPEN UNTIL TOLD TO DO SO




INSTRUCTIONS
(TDMHSCS)



The following 100 statements are to help you describe yourself as
you see yourself. Read each statement and decide whether it is "com-
pletely true," "mostly true," "partly true S partly false," "mostly false,"
or "completely false," as applied to you. Please respond as if you were
describing yourself to yourself.

Select the most appropriate answer of the five listed below and on
-------------.---------------.--------------------........................
Number 1 2 3 4 5

Answers Completely Mostly Partly true & Mostly Completely
false false partly false true true
-------------------.---------.---------------------.......................
the separate answer sheet blacken between the lines in the column headed
by the number of the answer you have chosen.

Look at the example of the answer sheet shown at the right. If a
statement is "mostly false" as applied to you, blacken between the lines
in the column headed "2." (See A on the right.)
If a statement is "completely true" as applied 1 2 3 4 5
to you, blacken between the lines in the column A n H H n n
headed "5." (See B at the right.) Do not omit B I n n H n
any items.

In marking your answers on the answer sheet be sure the number of
the statement agrees with the dark blue number on the answer sheet. Erase
completely any answer you wish to change. Do not make any marks on this
booklet.

Remember you are not trying to describe yourself as others see you,
but only as you see yourself.









Number 1 2 3 4 5

Answers Completely Mostly Partly true & Mostly Completely
false false partly false true true
.......................................................................

1. I don't always tell the truth.

2. I am a decent sort of person.

3. I am a cheerful person.

4. I am mad at the whole world.

5. I don't like everyone I know.

6. I am a moral failure.

7. I am a hateful person.

8. I am a friendly person.

9. I would rather win than lose in a game.

10. I have a healthy body.

11. I am satisfied with my moral behavior.

12. I should be more polite to others.

13. I am satisfied to be just what I am.

14. I don't feel as well as I should.

15. I wish I could be more trustworthy.

16. I am satisfied with my family relationships.

17. I am not the person I would like to be.

18. I am as sociable as I want to be.

19. I am neither too fat nor too thin.

20. I am too sensitive to things my family say.

21. I am true to my religion in my everyday life.

22. I do not feel at ease with other people.

23. I can always take care of myself in any situation.

24. I do poorly in sports and games.

25. I sometimes use unfair means to get ahead.









Number- 1 2 3 4 5

Answers Completely Mostly Partly true & Mostly Completely
false false partly false true true
.......................................................................

26. I try to play fair with my friends and family.

27. I change my mind a lot.

28. I take good care of myself physically.

29. I try to understand the other fellow's point of view.

30. I quarrel with my family.

31. I am full of aches and pains.

32. Once in a while I think of things too bad to talk about.

33. I have a lot of self-control.

34. I am not interested in what other people do.

35. I have a family that would always help me in any kind of trouble.

36. I gossip a little at times.

37. I am a nobody.

38. I am popular with women.

39. I am not loved by my family.

40. Once in a while I put off until tomorrow what I ought to do today.

41. I am as religious as I want to be.

42. I am no good at all from a social standpoint.

43. I am as smart as I want to be.

44. I would like to change some parts of my body.

45. I ought to go to church more.

46. I treat my parents as well as I should.

47. I despise myself.

48. I am satisfied with the way I treat other people.

49. I am neither too tall nor too short.

50. I should trust my family more.









Number 1 2 3 4 5

Answers Completely Mostly Partly true & Mostly Completely
false false partly false true true
----------------------------------------...............................

51. I do what is right most of the time.

52. I do not forgive others easily.

53. I solve my problems quite easily.

54. I often act like I am "all thumbs."

55. I sometimes do very bad things.

56. I do my share of work at home.

57. I do things without thinking about them first.

58. I feel good most of the time.

59. I see good points in all the people I meet.

60. I give in to my parents.

61. I consider myself a sloppy person.

62. I am a religious person.

63. I get angry sometimes.

64. I am hard to be friendly with.

65. I am an important person to my family and friends.

66. I am a bad person.

67. Once in a while, I laugh at a dirty joke.

68. I am popular with men.

69. My friends have no confidence in me.

70. I like to look nice and neat all the time.

71. I am satisfied with my relationship to God.

72. I ought to get along better with other people.

73. I am just as nice as I should be.

74. I should have more sex appeal.

75. I shouldn't tell so many lies.









Number 1 2 3 4 5

Answers Completely Mostly Partly true & Mostly Completely
false false partly false true true
.......................................................................

76. I understand my family as well as I should.

77. I wish I didn't give up as easily as I do.

78. I try to please others, but I don't overdo it.

79. I like my looks just the way they are.

80. I should love my family nore.

81. I try to change when I know I'm doing things that are wrong.

82. I find it hard to talk with strangers.

83. I take the blame for things without getting mad.

84. I am a poor sleeper.

85. I have trouble doing the things that are right.

86. I take a real interest in my family.

87. I try to run away from my problems.

88. I try to be careful about my appearance.

89. I get along well with other people.

90. I do not act like my family thinks I should.

91. I am a sick person.

92. I an an honest person.

93. I am a calm and easy going person.

94. Sometimes, when I am not feeling well, I am cross.

95. I am a member of a happy family.

96. I am a morally weak person.

97. I am losing my mind.

98. At times I feel like swearing.

99. I feel that my family doesn't trust me.

100. I am an attractive person.












APPENDIX C


Role-Playing Test




(PLEASE PRINT)


NAME


Last


First


Middle


CLASSIFICATION


STUDENT NO. SEX


AGE BIRTH ORDER


SUPPORTER









You are in the group designated as "SUPPORTER."


I ar now going to ask that all the OBSERVER group go with my assis-
tant to another room; that all the SUPPORTER group find seats on the left
side of the soom (your left as you face the front of the room) and that
all the AGREER group find seats on the right side (your right) of the room.


While all of these rearrangements are going on, please fill in the
information requested above and then glance over the list of 20 state-
ments that follow.


Do not take time to read the instructions on the next page as I
want to go over them with you after you have seen the statements.









SUPPORTER

(Instructions)




THIS IS A STUDY OF ROLE-PLAYING



First, pretend that you have made these statements about yourself.
It may be that you have actually expressed such feelings on one occasion
or the other as many people have.

Second, now pretend to take the role of someone, maybe a close
friend, who is trying to convince you that you are not really that bad or
that hopeless. Fspond to each of these statements in the role of this
encouraging person by writing honest and sincere replies that mention your
good traits, your positive qualities, your accomplishments and your
successes. Essentially, I want you to tell yourself about yourself but
I want you to do it in the role of someone who is supporting you by re-
minding you of your good traits and achievements.

Illustration:

Statement: "I give up too easily."
Encouraging Response: "If you gave up too easily you wouldn't
have gotten to date that girl you wanted to for so long
and people wouldn't depend on you the way they do. You
couldn't have brought that C in Biology up to a B, if you
gave up too easily."

Briefly, then, the sequence is as follows:
First, assume you have made the negative statement.
Second, mentally step outside yourself and assume the role of
an understanding person who is trying to encourage you by
reminding you of your specific good characteristics and
accomplishments.
Third, write down as many convincing facts as you can. Be
specific in referring to things that are true about
yourself.

I shall read each statement and give you two minutes in which to
write your response below the written form. Please write until asked to
stop. I will give you a ten-second warning in which time try to complete
the sentence you are writing. If you have not finished when I announce
that the time is up, please stop writing, and give your attention to the
next statement as I read it.

The main thing is to write down as many facts about yourself as you
can in an understandable form with little regard to proper sentence con-
struction and spelling. This is not a test of those two skills. Use the
back side of the page if you need additional space.









(PLEASE PRINT)


NAME


Last


First


Middle


CLASSIFICATION_


STUDENT NO. SEX


AGE BIRTH ORDER


AGREE










You are in the group designated as "AGREER."


I am now going to ask that all the OBSERVER group go with my assis-
tant to another room; that all the SUPPORTER group find seats on the left
side of the room (your left as you face the front of the room) and that all
the AGREER group find seats on the right side (your right) of the room.


While all of these rearrangements are going on, please fill in the
information requested above and then glance over the list of 20 statements
that follow.


Do not take time to read the instructions on the next page as I
want to go over them with you after you have seen the statements.









AGREE

(Instructions)





THIS IS A STUDY OF ROLE-PLAYING




First, pretend that you have made these statements about yourself.
It may be that you have actually expressed such feelings on one occasion
or the other as many people have.

Second, now pretend to take the role of someone, a critical person,
who is agreeing with you that you really are as bad or hopeless as the
statement indicates. Respond to each of these statements in the role of
this critical person by writing honest and sincere replies that mention
your weaknesses, your negative qualities, your failures, and your mis-
takes. Essentially, I want you to tell yourself about yourself but I
want you to do it in the role of a critical person who is reminding you
of your bad points and failures.

Illustration:

Statement: "I am afraid of what other people think of me."
Agreeing Response: "You should be because you have certainly
been selfish at times and have acted like you knew it all.
And another thing, remember when you didn't do your share
of the work because you didn't have any sense of respon-
sibility?"

Briefly, then, the sequence is as follows:
First, assume you have made the negative statement.
Second, mentally step outside yourself and assume the role of
a critical person who is agreeing with you by remindEng
you of your specific negative qualities and mistakes.
Third, write down as many convincing facts as you can.

I shall read each statement, and give you two minutes in which to
write your response below the written form. Please write until asked to
stop. I will give you a ten-second warning in which time try to complete
the sentence you are writing. If you have not finished when I announce
that the time is up, please stop writing, and give your attention to the
next statement as I read it.

The main thing is to write down as many facts about yourself as
you can in an understandable form with little regard to proper sentence
construction and spelling. This is not a test of those two skills. Use
the back side of the page if you need additional space.









(PLEASE PRINT)


First


Middle


CLASSIFICATION


STUDENT NO. SEX


AGE BIRTH ORDER


OBSERVER


You are in the group designated as "OBSERVER."














Shortly you will be asked to go with my assistant to another room
where you will be given additional information regarding this research
and will function in your role as an OBSERVER. When you arrive in the
other room please begin filling in the information requested above.











APPENDIX D


Statements in the Role-Playing Test



1. I can see good points in you but not in me.

2. There's not a damn thing that I can do well.

3. I am unhappy.

4. I've done very little to cause my parents to believe in my abilities.

5. I don't have any real reason to have any self-confidence.

6. If people really knew me they wouldn't like me.

7. I need someone else to push me through on things.

8. I am worthless.

9. I've given my friends no reason to have confidence in me.

10. I feel helpless and no good.

11. Already, I've made a mess of my life.

12. I wish I could regard myself as a worthwhile person.

13. I can't remember anything in which I have ever really been successful.

14. I haven't done anything to deserve the love of my parents.

15. I must be stupid.

16. I feel I don't have any likeable qualities.

17. I give up too easily.

18. I am hopeless.

19. Most of the time I just feel like a failure.

20. I just don't have any reason to respect myself.











APPENDIX E


Time Sequence for Administering the Role-Playing Test



Time
Required Activity

5' Give initial instructions regarding role-playing task.

2' Statement #1 and response time

1' First rest read an illustration of each role.*

2' Statement #2 and response time
2' Statement #3 and response time
2' Statement #4 and response time

1' Second rest read an illustration of each role.

2' Statement #5 and response time
2' Statement #6 and response time
2' Statement #7 and response time
2' Statement #8 and response time

1' Third rest read an illustration of each role.

2' Statement # 9 and response time
2' Statement #10 and response time
2' Statement #11 and response time
2' Statement #12 and response time

1' Fourth rest read an illustration of each role.

2' Statement #13 and response time
2' Statement #14 and response time
2' Statement #15 and response time
2' Statement #16 and response time

1' Fifth rest read an illustration of each role.

2' Statement #17 and response time
2' Statement #18 and response time
2' Statement #19 and response time
2' Statement #20 and response time

50' Total time required


* Illustrations which were read at each rest period follow on next page.









ILLUSTRATIONS TO BE READ DURING EACH REST PERIOD


First rest period

Statement: "No one can depend on me."

Supporter response:

"What about all your work on the Dollars for Scholars campaign
and don't the pledges come to you with their problems in the sorority?
Why do so many people tell you their problems?"

Agreer response:

"You could be a good athlete but you just won't stick to hard
practice like living by training rules in order to run track. You
really could be good but you don't accept responsibility for yourself
and you let the wrong guys push you around and make your decisions for
you."

Second rest period

Statement: "I don't see how anyone can like me."

Insert: Agreer response:

"Well, you brood and sulk like a kid everytime something doesn't
go your way. How do you expect to get a date with Bill when you never
smile and you clam up and draw into your shell when he's around."

Supporter response:

"Because of your friendliness to that blind student, he sees
plenty of reasons for liking you and the reason you have so many friends
is because of your good qualities you act natural, you know how to work
on cars and you've overcome a lot of your shyness this past year."

Third rest period

Statement: "I am afraid of what others think of me."

Supporter response:

"Do your roommates want to room with someone else next year? NO!
The more people know you, the more they like you. They like your friend-
liness, your conscientiousness, and your willingness to help others."

Agreer response:

"You run yourself down so much we are beginning to believe that
you are as lousy as you claim and when you are such a showoff in front
of the girls it is so obvious."









Fourth rest period

Statement: "I feel like I am one great big failure."

Agreer response:

"I'll say you are a failure you are no good in sports, can't
dance, can't sing, can't socialize and can't get a date. You always wait
till the last minute to start preparing it's no wonder you do so
poorly so often."

Supporter response:

"You weren't a failure when you got that date with Jo Ann after
trying for a month. And you weren't a failure when you worked all summer
to help out on your college expenses."

Fifth rest period

Statement: "At times I despise myself."

Supporter response:

"Do you despise yourself for working as a nurse's aid, or for the
good speech you gave in class yesterday or for sacrificing your time to
help your girlfriend with her school problems?"

Agreer response:

"You ought to because you don't live up to your own pledges like
when you decided to start doing your own assignments instead of always
copying someone elses' that didn't last long, did it?"











APPENDIX F


Explanation of the Rating Task






(SUPPORTER)



In writing responses to the 20 negative statements of the Role-
playing Test a subject played two roles. First, he pretended he had
made the negative statement about himself. Secondly, he assumed the
role of a close friend who was trying to convince him that he really
wasn't as bad as the negative statement implied. While playing the
latter role he was instructed to write down specific positive things
about himself which a friend might refer to in trying to encourage him.


Instructions for Rating Verbal Responses

I am asking you to rate the degree of positiveness in the 20
written responses. There is possible rating of 1, 2, or 3, with 1
being the most positive and 3 being the least positTve.

1. Give the total response to each statement only one of the three
ratings.

2. Rate in the direction of the lowest numerical value possible.
For instance, if there is any mention of a specific trait or
accomplishment regardless of what else is written, the total
response is given a rating of 1. If there are no specific
references that would justify 7 rating of 1, then look for any
instance in which one of the criteria for a rating of 2 is used
and so on.

3. Criteria for each of the ratings are given below. Refer to the
attached illustrations for the purpose of understanding the
rating criteria.

4. Do not record any ratings directly on the Role-playing Test.
Use the separate sheet provided for the ratings.









CRITERIA FOR RATING SUPPORTER VERBAL RESPONSES


RATING OF 1:

A. Specific reference to a personality trait, characteristic,
quality, accomplishment or achievement.

RATING OF 2:

A. General reference to a personality trait, characteristic,
quality, accomplishment or achievement.

B. Positive comparison with others.

C. A reassuring type of response.

RATING OF 3:

A. Explanations as to why the subject made the negative statement.

B. Advice or a command to do better.

C. Negative comparison with others.

D. Vague reasoning type of response.

E. Any response that does not meet the criteria for a rating of 1
of 2.



ILLUSTRATIONS OF RATING CRITERIA


RATING OF 1

A. SPECIFIC REFERENCE TO A TRAIT, CHARACTERISTIC, QUALITY, ACCOMPLISHMENT
OR ACHIEVEMENT

I don't see how anyone can like me.

Because of your friendliness to that blind student, he sees plenty
of reasons for liking you and the reason you have so many friends is
because of your good qualities you act natural, you know how to work
on cars and you have overcome a lot of your shyness this past year.

I am afraid of what others think of me.

Do you get black-balled out of clubs? NO! The more people know
you the more they like you they like your friendliness, your
conscientiousness and your willingness to help others.









RATING OF 2

A. GENERAL REFERENCE TO A TRAIT, CHARACTERISTIC, QUALITY, ACCOMPLISHMENT,
ETC.

I haven't done anything to deserve the love of my parents.

The little things you do sometimes mean more to them than any big
thing you've ever done. The little things are the things they will
remember. Just being you, you deserve their love.

I am never satisfied with myself.

You should be satisfied with yourself because look how much you
have already accomplished. If you want something hard enough you can
have it as you've proven thus far by what you've done.


B. POSITIVE COMPARISON WITH OTHERS

I can see good points in you but not in me.

You have as many good points as anyone, maybe more than most. You
are as honest as the next guy and work as hard as most do.


C. REASSURING TYPE OF RESPONSE

I am afraid of what other people think of me.

You shouldn't feel that way because the only way they could feel
and be honest about it is to think the good things about you.

Sometimes I feel that the world would be a better place without me.

Removing yourself wouldn't make the world a better place because
your presence can make the world a better place.


RATING OF 3

A. EXPLANATION AS TO WHY HE IS MAKING THE NEGATIVE STATEMENT

People are too polite to say what they really think of me.

You've just got an inferiority complex. People don't really think
badly of you, you just imagine it because you are not satisfied with
yourself. It is all in your mind.

I feel terribly unsure of myself most of the time.

That's natural to feel that way if you haven't prepared yourself -
such as not studying well before a test.









B. ADVICE OR A COMMAND TO DO BETTER

I feel I don't have any likeable qualities.

Well improve yourself, get a haircut a little oftener and shine
your shoes once in a while. If you really think you are doing
something bad, turn over a new leaf. Just get some initiative.

Although I know it's not true, I sometimes feel that I am ugly.

If you feel you are ugly in appearance there is always something
you can do about it. And if you are ugly to others in actions,
then just think a while why you are and how you'd like others to
treat you.


C. NEGATIVE COMPARISON WITH OTHERS

Already I've made a mess of my life.

With your background I really don't think you are aimed in that
direction. Think of all the people who drink too much, have crimi-
nal records, are in the hospitals and undergo plastic surgery you
haven't made a mess of your life you have no police record.

You haven't been around long enough to say something like that.
You haven't been in any legal crisis or social crisis at all.


D. VAGUE REASONING TYPE OF RESPONSE

I am not fit to be around people.

Man, you've been around people all your life, and you're going
to be around people all the rest of your life so you'd better get
used to it. People have to be used to each other. That's what
life is all about.

When I make a mistake it reminds me of all the mistakes I ever made.

You couldn't remember all the mistakes you've ever made. You
know you wouldn't ever change anything if you had it to do all over
again except maybe on a test paper.









EXPLANATION OF THE RATING TASK



(AGREER)



In writing responses to the 20 negative statements of the Role-
playing Test a subject played two roles. First, he pretended he had
made the negative statement about himself. Secondly, he assumed the
role of a critical person who was agreeing with him that the negative
statement was true. While playing the latter role he was instructed
to write down specific negative things about himself which a person
might refer to in criticizing him.

Instructions for Rating Verbal Responses

I am asking you to rate the degree of negativeness in the 20
written responses. There is a possible rating of 1, 2, or 3, with 1
being the least negative and 3 being the most negative.

1. Give the total response to each statement only one of the three
ratings.

2. Rate in the direction of the highest numerical value possible.
For instance, if there is any mention of a specific negative
trait or failure, regardless of what else is written, the total
response is given a rating of 3. If there are no specific
references that would justify a rating of 3, then look for any
instance in which one of the criteria for a rating of 2 is used
and so on.

3. Criteria for each of the ratings are given below. Refer to the
attached illustrations for the purpose of understanding the
rating criteria.

4. Do not record any ratings directly on the Role-playing Test.
Use the separate sheet provided for the ratings.


CRITERIA FOR RATING AGREER VERBAL RESPONSES

RATING OF 3:

A. Specific reference to a weakness, negative personality trait, a
failure or mistake, a bad habit, or unacceptable behavior.

RATING OF 2:

A. General reference to a weakness, negative trait, a failure or
mistake, a bad habit, or unacceptable behavior.

B. In a general way, saying the same thing as the stimulus statement.









RATING OF 1:

A. Advice as to how to improve.

B. Affirming the validity of the stimulus statement without re-
ference to any negative quality or experience.

C. Reasoning as to why the subject is feeling what the stimulus
statement expresses.

D. Any statement that does not meet the criteria for a rating of
3 or 2.



ILLUSTRATIONS OF RATING CRITERIA


RATING OF 3

A. SPECIFIC REFERENCE TO A WEAKNESS, NEGATIVE PERSONALITY TRAIT, A
FAILURE OR MISTAKE, A BAD HABIT, OR UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOR.

I don't see how anyone can like me.

Well, you brood and sulk like a kid everytime something doesn't
go your way. How do you expect to get a date with Bill when you
never smile and you clam up and draw into your shell when he's
around.

I am worthless.

Let's take the way you loaf around as much as possible. You go
and play handball and let your wife work to put you through school
and then when she asks you to help you are angry and complain.


RATING OF 2

A. GENERAL REFERENCE TO A WEAKNESS, NEGATIVE TRAIT, A FAILURE OR MISTAKE,
A BAD HABIT, OR UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOR

I don't have any real reason to have any self-confidence.

Most certainly true, everytime you try out something by yourself
you fail, you make a mess of things.

I can see good points in you but not in me.

You really have no outward show of any good qualities and you
have never done anything really worthwhile.









B. IN A GENERAL WAY SAYING THE SAME THING AS THE STIMULUS STATEMENT

I wish I could regard myself as a worthwhile person.

You don't amount to much. You've nothing to show for your 18
years of life. It's making you unhappy.

I am worthless.

That is true, your existence does not have meaning. You have not
reached a level of self-actualization.


RATING OF 1

A. ADVICE AS TO HOW TO IMPROVE

I can see good points in you but not in me.

Well that's obvious! You need to have a little more concern with
yourself and other people before you will be able to find good points
in yourself.

I am unhappy.

You wouldn't be unhappy, if you found a goal to work for that would
help someone else besides yourself or a productive goal that would
give you a sense of accomplishment.

B. AFFIRMING THE VALIDITY OF THE STATEMENT WITHOUT DIRECT REFERENCE TO
ANY NEGATIVE QUALITY OR EXPERIENCE

I am unhappy.

No matter how many good things life has given you: health, a good
family, more or less good economic situation, an opportunity for an
education, you are not satisfied, you are unhappy.

Yes, I guess you are. You just don't seem to have time to do
what you would like to do. It seems that working and studies keep you
too busy. But would extra time actually be more profitably spent?

C. REASONING AS TO WHY THE PERSON IS FEELING WHAT THE STIMULUS STATEMENT
EXPRESSES

I am unhappy.

You do seem unhappy at times because maybe you didn't get your way.
You shouldn't let little things bother you so much. There is a bright
side to every failure even if it isn't apparent at present.

I can see good points in you but not in me.

That isn't true, you have many good points. The problem might be
that you just don't recognize them.










APPENDIX G






Samples of the Verbal Response Rating Form for Individual Judges
and the Verbal Response Scoring Form for Individual Subjects on which
Were Derived the Role-Playing Test Mean Rating (X), the Modal Rating,
and the Index of Interjudge Agreement (X%).





VERBAL RESPONSE SCORING FORM



Name Group

Sum 7 Mode Ratio %

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
VERBAL RESPONSE RATING FORM 8
9
10
1. 11
2. 12
3. 13
4. 14
5. 15
6. 16
7. 17
8. 18
9. 19
10. 20
11.
12. Sum
13.

15.
16. 1/5
Name 17. 2/5
18. 3/5
19. 4/5
Judge 20. 5/5









APPENDIX H


Analysis of Ratings of Verbal Responses



In order to gain some idea of the amount of agreement among

judges in rating the verbal responses the following procedure was

carried out.

A modal rating was derived from the five judges' ratings of

each statement (possible ratings of 1, 2, or 3). Then for each state-

ment, the percentage of interjudge agreement with the modal rating was

derived. These percentages were summed for the total 20 statements for

each S and averaged, resulting in an index of interjudge agreement for

each S. These average percentages of agreement for each S were in turn

averaged for the entire sample of Agreers and Supporters, resulting in

one index of agreement for each group. For the Supporter verbal res-

ponses, the percentage of agreement between judges was .91, for the Agreer

verbal responses, .81.

Consideration was given to the number of verbal responses for

which ratings of both 1 and 3 were given which reflected either a great

deal of ambiguity in the statement or confusion on the part of the judges

or both. Very many sets of ratings of this nature would reduce the

significance of a high percentage of agreement implied in the indexes of

.91 and .81. Of the total 820 verbal statements written by the Agreer

Ss there were 69 for which there were such split ratings. This repre-

sents .084 percent of the total (approximately 1 1/2 statements per S

of the total 20 responses). Of the total 1160 Supporter verbal state-

ments, only 31 (.027 percent) had split ratings. The verbal statements

of the Supporter Ss were rated with more agreement than those of the

90









Agreer Ss, however, both indexes of agreement are high and the percen-

tages of split ratings low. Apparently, the judges had very similar sets

in approaching their task and had similar reactions to each statement.

The numerical values of all five judges' ratings for each of the

20 statements for each S were summed and averaged which resulted in an

average rating for each S ranging from 1.00 to 3.00. These average ratings

were used as indexes of amount of positiveness in the responses of

Supporter Ss and amount of negativeness in the responses of Agreer Ss.

As a test of the degree of relationship between the amount of

change in score from pretest to first posttest and the amount of posi-

tiveness in the Supporter verbal responses and the amount of negative-

ness in the Agreer responses, Pearson Product-moment correlations were

first derived. The correlations between change in score and rating of

verbal response for the Supporter group was .07 while for the Agreer

group it was -.09. Neither of these coefficients was significant. The

smallness of these coefficients indicated such a lack of relationship be-

tween these two variables that no additional analysis was deemed necessary.

With 1.00 being the most positive rating possible for each S's set

of verbal responses, the Supporter Ss had an average rating of 1.16

(Low Supporters, 1.16, High Supporters, 1.15). With 3.00 being the most

negative rating possible for each S's set of verbal responses, the Agreer

Ss had an average rating of 2.68 (Low Agreers, 2.68, High Agreers, 2.68).

In both treatment groups the Ss were consistently able to give the type

of responses that were judged to reflect adequate involvement in the

role-playing task.









APPENDIX I


Explanation of Table of Analysis of Variance



The analysis of variance of the three sets of test scores for

the Supporter, Agreer, and Observer groups, making a test score N of 414,

is presented in the analysis table below with five main effects and nine

interactions. A sub-table provides two additional main effects and six

interactions. Only two of the main effects were significant while not

one of the interactions was significant. An explanation of each of the

main sources of variance follows.

SEX: These was a sex difference in performance on the SCS.

Males (78.04) achieved higher mean scores than females (69.31). The non-

significant sex interactions indicate that this difference was not asso-

ciated with any one group or test administration.

SUPPORTER vs OBSERVER (Gl): The Supporters and Observers re-

ceived different treatments, but whatever effect these treatments had

was not reflected in the three sets of test scores for each group when

these scores were combined into a single distribution of group scores and

a comparison of these two distributions was made.

SUPPORTER AND OBSERVER vs AGREER (G2): Since the Supporter and

Observer groups did not differ on the basis of the criteria selected to

demonstrate difference should it occur, they were grouped together and

their combined distribution of scores was compared with the distribution

of Agreer scores for all three tests. This comparison resulted in a

highly significant F. There was a 13.33 mean difference in score between

the performance of the Agreer Ss and that of the combined group of

Supporter and Observer Ss. The non-significant interactions between









PRELIMINARY ANALYSIS OF VARIANCE


Sum of Mean
Source D/F Squares Square F P

Between Cells 17 34579.0779 2034.0634 1.89 .05
Within Cells 396 425250.5784 1073.8651
Total 413 459829.6563


SUMMARY OF DETAILED ANALYSIS OF VARIANCE

Sum of Mean
Source D/F Squares Square F P

Sex (S) 1 7857.5200 7857.5200 7.32 .01
Supporter vs Observer(GI) 1 1398.5377 1398.5377 1.30 N.S.
Supporter and (G2)
Observer vs Agreer 1 15365.0246 15365.0246 14.31 .001
1st Posttest vs (TI)
Pretest 1 9.4239 9.4239
1st Post 6 Pretest (T2)
vs 2nd Posttest 1 1308.7935 1308.7935 1.22 N.S.
S X GI 1 2846.0496 2846.0496 2.65 N.S.
S X G2 1 0.6184 0.6184 --
S X T1 1 167.4819 167.4819 --
S X T2 1 337.3811 337.3811 --
G, X T1 1 148.9691 148.9691 ---
G1 X T2 1 258.8378 258,8378 --
G2 X T 1 3046.6993 3046.6993 2.84 N.S.
G2 X T2 1 1495.8424 1495.8424 1.39 N.S.
S X G X T 4 1853.8819 463.4705 --
Error 396 425250.0784 1073.8638


SUB TABLES OF ANALYSIS OF VARIANCE

Sum of Mean
Source D/F Squares Square F P

2 Posttest vs Pretest(T' ) 1 1080.1304 1080.1304 1.01 N.S.
S X T' 1 13.9275 13.9275 ---
G, X T 1 1 6.6804 6.6804 ---
G2 X T1 1 733.6956 733.6956 --

2 Post vs Ist (T"l) 1 877.7717 877.7717 --
S X T"1 1 278.0036 278.0036 --
GI X T"i 1 92.5567 92.5567 ---
G2 X T"1 1 790.1775 790.1775









groups and tests indicate that this difference is not associated with

performance on any one administration but is contributed to by the per-

formance on all three administrations.

FIRST POSTTEST vs PRETEST (T1): The combined performance of all

three treatment groups on the pretest was compared with their performance

on the first posttest. Combining group performance within test adminis-

tration is not meaningful in itself, but it does permit a later test of

meaningful interactions.

FIRST POSTTEST AND PRETEST vs SECOND POSTTEST (T ): Since the

variances of the pretest and first posttest scores of all three groups

did not differ, these two sets of scores were consolidated into one dis-

tribution and compared with the distribution of second posttest scores

of all three groups.


Sub-tables

Taking the two degrees of freedom used in the table of analysis

for the T1 and T2 test comparisons and using them for a different combi-

nation of test administrations, new tables of analysis of variance could

be generated in which the remainder of each of these new tables would be

identical to the present one. Rather than duplicate the major portion

of the present table several times, sub-tables were added which show

these additional comparisons of test administrations and the appropriate

interactions associated with them.

SECOND POSTTEST vs PRETEST (T'I): The combined second posttest

performance of all three treatment groups was compared with that of the

pretest. Such a comparison facilitated tests of meaningful interactions.

SECOND POSTTEST vs FIRST POSTTEST (T"1): The combined second




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