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dc.contributor.authorFoster, Josh David
dc.date.accessioned2014-03-03T23:21:32Z
dc.date.available2014-03-03T23:21:32Z
dc.date.issued2005-08
dc.identifier.otherfoster_josh_d_200508_phd
dc.identifier.urihttp://purl.galileo.usg.edu/uga_etd/foster_josh_d_200508_phd
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10724/22647
dc.description.abstractRomantic infidelity is a behavior that conflicts with how most individuals view the self and therefore may promote cognitive dissonance. Furthermore, individuals who commit infidelity may use strategies such as trivialization and behavior change to diminish negative consequences associated with cognitive dissonance. Consistent with my predictions, I found that prior instances of romantic infidelity promoted discrepancy involving the self-concept and psychological discomfort, particularly in women. Additionally, prior infidelity promoted negative shifts in general affect, suggesting that infidelity causes a combination of cognitive dissonance and negative general affect. Also consistent with my predictions, prior infidelity promoted the use of trivialization and behavior change; the latter from perpetrators who desired consistency amongst their beliefs and behaviors. Perpetrators of infidelity who did trivialize their behaviors experienced significant improvement in terms of self-concept discrepancy and psychological discomfort, but not general affect, suggesting that trivialization directly targets the dissonance associated with infidelity. Finally, participants were more likely to trivialize prior infidelities when they were highly aware of their personal beliefs regarding infidelity, suggesting that a salient discrepancy between beliefs and behavior may lead perpetrators of infidelity to trivialize their behaviors. Theoretical and practical implications of the findings are discussed, and future avenues of research are suggested.
dc.languageeng
dc.publisheruga
dc.rightspublic
dc.subjectInfidelity
dc.subjectCognitive Dissonance
dc.subjectDiscomfort
dc.subjectDiscrepancy
dc.subjectBehavior
dc.titleUsing Cognitive Dissonance Theory to investigate the thoughts and behaviors of individuals who commit romantic infidelity
dc.typeDissertation
dc.description.degreePhD
dc.description.departmentPsychology
dc.description.majorPsychology
dc.description.advisorW. Keith Campbell
dc.description.committeeW. Keith Campbell
dc.description.committeeMichael H. Kernis
dc.description.committeeLeonard L. Martin
dc.description.committeeDavid R. Shaffer


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