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Flashcards in Chapter 6 Deck (11):

Self-Evaluation Maintenance Theory

The idea that people experience dissonance when someone close to us outperforms us in an area that is central to our self-esteem. This dissonance can be reduced by becoming less close to the person, changing our behavior so that we now outperform them, or deciding that the area is not that important to us after all.


Counterattitudinal Behavior

Acting in a way that runs counter to one’s private belief or attitude


Cognitive dissonance

The discomfort that people feel when they behave in ways that threaten their self-esteem



An unscrupulous strategy whereby a salesperson induces a customer to agree to purchase a product at a low cost, subsequently claims it was an error, and then raises the price; frequently, the customer will agree to make the purchase at the inflated price


justification of effort

The tendency for individuals to increase their liking for something they have worked hard to attain


external justification

A reason or an explanation for dissonant personal behavior that resides outside the individual (e.g., to receive a large reward or avoid a severe punishment)


internal justification

The reduction of dissonance by changing something about oneself (e.g., one’s attitude or behavior)


insufficient punishment

The dissonance aroused when individuals lack sufficient external justification for having resisted a desired activity or object, usually resulting in individuals devaluing the forbidden activity or object


hypocrisy induction

The arousal of dissonance by having individuals make statements that run counter to their behaviors and then reminding them of the inconsistency between what they advocated and their behavior. The purpose is to lead individuals to more responsible behavior.


Terror Management Theory

The theory that holds that self-esteem serves as a buffer, protecting people from terrifying thoughts about their own mortality


Self-Affirmation Theory

The idea that people can reduce threats to their self-esteem by affirming themselves in areas unrelated to the source of the threat