VI. Guilt and Hypocrisy

  1. Guilt Is Good, Stone et al., 1994

  2. Method
    1. "We're doing AIDS research on getting high school kids to use condoms."
    2. First (Committment), will you:

      Give a videotaped speech in favor of condoms
      we can show to kids (High)
      Write a speech, then take a quiz on AIDS,
      to see if writing helps memory? (Low)

    3. Second (Hypocrisy), will you:

      Read this list of reasons people don't use condoms,
      then make a list any reasons you've had for not using condoms (High)
      Go to the next phase of the study (Low)

  3. Measurement
    1. Pick up or purchase pamphlets or condoms anonymously
    2. Self report of past and future (intent) condom use
    3. 3 month followup phone survey of condom use

  4. Results

  5. Interpretation
    1. Speech + List creates Guilt (Dissonance)
    2. Dissonance motivates behavioral change (short and long term)
    3. Dissonance relieved with Attitude Change
    4. Interesting Effect of Committment and Hypocrisy

Outcomes by Committment and Hypocrisy
High Commit Low Commit
High Hypocrisy
Buy Condoms 88% 50%
How Many 5.0 3.6
Do Nothing 6% 39%
Actually Use 92% 71%
Percent Use 63% 44%
Low Hypocrisy
Buy Condoms 33% 50%
How Many 4.2 3.5
Do Nothing 56% 44%
Actually Use 55% 75%
Percent Use 46% 65%


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Updated March 21, 1996; Copyright © SBB, 1996