Shultz, T. R., & Lepper, M. R. (1998). A constraint-satisfaction model of Machiavellianism effects in cognitive dissonance. Proceedings of the Twentieth Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 957-962). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.



The consonance constraint-satisfaction model is applied to Machiavellianism self-concept effects in cognitive dissonance. Networks parameterized for low Machiavellian traits showed the usual dissonance effect, i. e., more attitude change after giving a counter-attitudinal speech than after not giving such a speech, whereas networks parameterized for high Machiavellian traits showed the reverse, thus capturing human data. Classical dissonance theory had not accounted for the fact that people with high Machiavellian traits showed less attitude change after giving a counter-attitudinal speech than after not giving such a speech. The model predicts initial dissonance and the course of dissonance reduction in the various experimental conditions. The results underscore the point that cognitive dissonance operates according to the same constraint-satisfaction principles that govern a variety of other psychological phenomena.


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