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Forced Compliance Technique

Definition

The forced compliance technique is an experimental procedure whereby people are induced to behave in a way that is inconsistent with their attitudes, beliefs, values, or other thoughts about an issue. The procedure was initially developed for studying how inconsistency between behavior and attitudes can motivate people to change their position on a topic. According to psychological theory, when people behave in a way that is inconsistent with other important cognitions, they experience a state of discomfort similar to hunger or thirst. To reduce the discomfort, they are motivated to restore consistency by changing some of the relevant cognitions. The intriguing aspect of the forced compliance paradigm is that because the inconsistent behavior is often impossible to take back, the path of least resistance for ...

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