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Psychology of Belief, Part 2: Insufficient Justification

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Psychology of Belief - Part 2 Insufficient Justification Another way the secret testimony seems astonishing when compared with the methods of obtaining other knowledge. We gain or strenghen a testimony by baring it. Someone even suggested that some testimonies are better gained on the feet baring them, then on the knees praying for them. In other words, we generate belief by expressing it. In the previous video, we learned how informational influence leads to public conformity in the face of peer pressure. In this video, we shall learn how an effect called insufficient justification can transform public conformity into real beliefs. Consider the following experiment: Imagine you are a volunteer in a 2-hour experiment on "Measures of Performance." Your first task is to place 12 spools into a tray using only one hand. Excellent. Now take them back out. Great! Now put them back in again. And again, take them back out. And so on... BORED YET? For one full half-hour, this is all you do. Meanwhile, some guy in a lab coat watches everything you do and scribbles notes. The next half-hour is even better. You are presented with 48 square pegs in square holes. Using one hand, rotate them all by one-quater turn. Great! Now rotate them again. And again... Just as the boredom is about to kill you, you are finally asked to take a survey. On a ten-point scale [-5,5], please rate the following questions: 1) Were the tasks interesting and enjoyable? 2) Do you think the tasks have any scientific value? 3) Would you have any desire to participate in similar experiments in the future? Obviously, the tasks were quite dull. Which was the whole point: The hour which the S spent working on the repetitive, monotonous tasks was intended to provide, for each S uniformly, an experience about which he would have a somewhat negative opinion. It is therefore no surprise that control groups answered with fairly low numbers. Now let's shake things up a bit. Before giving the survey, the science guy asks you for a favor. You see, the girl in the waiting room is the next subject for the experiment. For the experiment, we need someone to give her a positive introduction to the tasks. We normally have another guy who does this full-time, but he called in sick today. So if it's all right with you, we'd like you to try filling in for him. The job is simple enough. All you have to do is introduce her to the experiment. And make the following points: 1) The experiment was very enjoyable. 2) I had a lot of fun. 3) It was very interesting. 4) It was exciting. For this service, you will ge paid: Group A: $20.00 Group B: $1.00 Remember now, the tasks were deliberately designed to be monotonous and pointless. The experimenter is therefore asking you TO LIE. So how much is your integrity worth? You know full well the experiment was dreadfully dull. And yet here you are saying the exact opposite. Suppose you were lucky enough to be in the $20.00 group. Surely that would be sufficient justification for telling a little white lie, right? YES. Which is why Group A also reported low numbers when given the survey. But what about the $1.00 group? How do you rationalize such a brazen lie for one measly dollar? SIMPLE. You believe it. When given insufficient justification for telling a lie... ...the natural tendency is to convince ourselves that it must be true. Even when reality is staring us in the face. This is why the faithful are so frequently encouraged to testify of their beliefs. Informational influence turns peer pressure into public conformity. Which feeds back into intself to create more peer pressure. While insufficient justification gradually converts it all into genuine belief. So are spiritual testimonies the result of a God working miracles in our souls? Or simply manifestations of our own self-deception? Say what you mean. And mean what you say. Lest you find yourself falling for your own lies. Reference: Festinger, L. and Carlsmith, J. M. (1959) "Cognitive consequences of forced compliance", Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 58, 2210 Music: "Gravel Walk" by The Orthodoy Celts

Video Details

Duration: 6 minutes and 12 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: AntiCitizenX
Director: AntiCitizenX
Views: 114
Posted by: movgp0 on May 6, 2011

In the previous video, we learned how peer pressure leads to public conformity. Now we shall see how public conformity can be turned into genuine belief, even when the belief is embarrassingly false.

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