Attitudes and Persuasion

Critical Thinking Questions

Give an example (one not used in class or your text) of cognitive dissonance and how an individual might resolve this.


One example is choosing which college to attend—the public school close to home or the Ivy League school out of state. Since both schools are desirable, the student is likely to experience cognitive dissonance in making this decision. In order to justify choosing the public school close to home, the student could change her cognition about Ivy League school, asserting that it is too expensive and the quality of education at the public school is just as good. She could change her attitude toward the Ivy League school and determine that the students there are too stuffy and wouldn’t make good classmates.

Imagine that you work for an advertising agency, and you’ve been tasked with developing an advertising campaign to increase sales of Bliss Soda. How would you develop an advertisement for this product that uses a central route of persuasion? How would you develop an ad using a peripheral route of persuasion?


Although potential answers will vary, advertisements using the central route of persuasion might involve a doctor listing logical reasons for drinking this product. For example, the doctor might cite research suggesting that the soda is better than alternatives because of its reduced calorie content, lack of adverse health consequences, etc. An advertisement using a peripheral route of persuasion might show very attractive people consuming the product while spending time on a beautiful, sunny beach.