It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

How Hypocrisy Leads to Behavioral Change?

page: 1
3

log in

join
share:

posted on May, 6 2012 @ 05:50 AM
link   
Something I've been thinking about , and would love some input on.

The question of how governments, or large corporations facilitate bevavioral change in the public is one I find fascinating, and I've been wondering if and how it may occur in relation to cognitive dissonance theories.

For anyone not familiar with the idea full information can be found here, but in short cognitive dissonance is when someone experiences two conflicting states of cognition. Typically when this occurs, a person will subconsciously alter their beliefs or self-concept in order to eliminate the dissonance.

There are many well documented cases of these principles being applied to modify the public's behavior in relation to issues such as littering, condom use, and racial tolerance, all with at least some demonstrated success (see here for more information). It is in these cases that the term hypocrisy comes up, creating a sense of how things should be done that is at odds with what people actually do.

Given the relative ease with which these techniques have been used, what are the chances that they same thing is being done more clandestinely?

A simple example that might be done with sufficient long-term planning is telling people some is wrong and associating it with some kind of punishment, and then later legalizing it. This would increase the chances that people would adopt that behavior. This is also well borne out in experiments and is called 'Induced-Compliance'.

Another example would be 'Effort-Justification', this is where someone engages in unpleasant activities to achieve some desired goal. The effort expended then reinforces the belief that the end goal is rewarding. Think about consumption and work ethic, where society in general places a large value on work ethic, and it is justified by what we are able to purchase with the rewards of our labors.

There are so many examples of where media propagates conflicting messages of what we should do versus, while representing the opposite behavior as being desirable I hardly know where to start.

Any thoughts?




posted on May, 6 2012 @ 06:16 AM
link   
In the interests of full-disclosure I should say that I am aiming to start a series of posts on this for my blog. Would love to your comments there as well.



posted on May, 8 2012 @ 11:28 AM
link   
An example from a recent speech from Obama:

In the speech, Obama is addressing a blue collar crowd, and makes mention of the long running trend of US manufactures outsourcing jobs to countries with lower costs, specifically China.



He states:
"They're [companies who outsource] taking deductions for the expenses of moving out the United States. Meanwhile, companies that are doing the right thing and choosing to stay here, they get hit with the hugest tax rate in the world"
Ignoring the factual statements, this statement, that was greeted with strong applause, sets up a state of dissonance for these companies.

A companies primary responsibility is to make money, so the main incentive is to seek out the best conditions for doing so. Obama's statement frames this as a moral decision creating a dissonant state where companies have one course of action that is best for their interests, and one course that is right.

The danger in this approach is 1) that does not address the issue, where in this case the government is responsible for aligning the company's incentive to make money, and 2) the likely reaction is for companies to reject the moral argument justifying the gains of doing so against the 'rightness' of the action.

Without meaning to invoke a slippery slope argument, how easy does it become to make future immoral decisions after the first one is out of the way. I would argue that we should try to avoid forcing people onto the wrong side of the morality fence, especially when there are no gains in doing so.

The is the additional problem that this easily leads to a governmental situation where protectionist policies seems like the best remedy. Which when you look at farm subsidies as an example create situations where the American public ends up paying for people to do business. And in that example, we end up with a powerful lobby dedicated to protecting the rights of the few in charge of the massive arga-businesses that pass for 'The American Farmer'.

This is not responsible government. A responsible government proposes effective solutions for real problems, and does not rely on emotional or morality charged arguments to sway over the masses.



posted on May, 8 2012 @ 11:37 AM
link   
reply to post by DakotaCensus
 



right...good thing you only mentioned obama, because the republicans have nothing to do with this, right? as soon as i saw that, your post became irrelavant to me.



posted on May, 8 2012 @ 07:56 PM
link   
reply to post by jimmyx
 


Relax, it was not meant as a specific attack on the republicans just a starting point.

The problem with republican speeches is that they all tend to fall into similar patterns with the same logical fallacies repeated over and over by different candidates.

Rather than making clear propositions they use arguments to fear, pity, ridicule and spite, or the classic conservative argumentum ad antiquitatem, things were better in the past.



posted on May, 8 2012 @ 07:56 PM
link   
reply to post by jimmyx
 


Relax, it was not meant as a specific attack on the republicans just a starting point.

The problem with republican speeches is that they all tend to fall into similar patterns with the same logical fallacies repeated over and over by different candidates.

Rather than making clear propositions they use arguments to fear, pity, ridicule and spite, or the classic conservative argumentum ad antiquitatem, things were better in the past.

From a Romney speech:

"President Obama wants to “fundamentally transform” America. We want to restore America to the founding principles that made this country great."
edit on 8-5-2012 by DakotaCensus because: Added supporting details

edit on 8-5-2012 by DakotaCensus because: corrected factual error




top topics
 
3

log in

join