An annotated collection of more than 5000 links to resources and ideas for the teaching of social psychology and related courses organized by topic





Attitudes & Behavior

Attraction & Relationships

Conflict & Peacemaking


Genes, Gender, & Culture

Group Influence





Psychology in the Courtroom

Social Beliefs & Judgments

The Self






























Attitudes & Behavior


Activities and Exercises



Multimedia Resources (audio, video)

Topic Resources


Class Assignments

Articles, Books, and Book Chapters

= new link as of February 1, 2017

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Activities and Exercises

Why do so many mistrust scientific findings? - In many cases because it conflicts with a person's worldview.  This article from David Myers suggests some activities you can conduct with your students around this idea.

Does Trump simply share attitudes or also amplify them? - This good question is asked by David Myers.  It is framed well to serve as a discussion starter in your classes.

When does repetition of misinformation become fact? - A good discussion of this question along with some class activities -- by the way, Russia has a larger surface area than Pluto.

Moral judgments

Right-wing attitudes - Myers and DeWall at work again bringing us some good activities related to a Current Directions article [added 1/22/15]

Complete a survey - a variety of scales here that your students can take, get results on, and discuss [added 7/2/09]

Belief-o-matic - An online personality quiz about your religious and spiritual beliefs -- "Answer 20 questions about your concept of God, the afterlife, human nature, and more, and Belief-O-Matic will tell you what religion (if any) you practice...or ought to consider practicing." [added 1/1/07]

Inducing cognitive dissonance - adapted from Carkenord and Bullington's article "Bringing cognitive dissonance to the classroom" (accompanies Psychology: An Introduction, 10/e by Morris and Maisto) [added 9/4/02]

Battleground God - interesting exercise in consistency of beliefs - you are asked a series of T/F questions, and then you receive an analysis of how rationally consistent your answers were [added 3/21/02]

Affect Lab - based on Forgas, 1999, JPSP - from a Research Methods in Social Cognition course - courtesy of Janet Ruscher

Attitudes Lab - based on Petty & Cacioppo, 1984, JPSP - from a Research Methods in Social Cognition course - courtesy of Janet Ruscher


Multimedia Resources (Audio / Video)


Why saying is believing - A podcast from NPR -- a full transcript is also included. [added 1/22/15]

F-I-T-D and D-I-T-F in a virtual world - Michael Britt has another good episode of The Psych Files, this time an interview with Paul Eastwick who did some interesting research on social influence within a virtual world. Here is an Eastwick research article on the topic. [3/26/09]

Here's a summary of Festinger's original study on cognitive dissonance - from Michael Britt


Foot-in-the-door - (5:04) a description of a couple classic studies [added 1/22/15]

Foot-in-the-door online - (1:04) Michael Britt explains that F-I-T-D also works in the virtual world. [added 1/22/15]

Cognitive dissonance - (7:49) a description of the classic study [added 1/22/15]

Consistency - (4:10) a clever mistletoe kissing prank assesses for consistency between self-report and behavior [added 3/5/13]

Inconsistency over "class warfare" - (4:48)  Jon Stewart on The Daily Show discusses taxes in which the government can raise $700 billion by taking half of what is earned by the bottom 50% or by raising the marginal taxes on the top two percent.

Inconsistency over "class warfare" part 2 - (6:32) Jon Stewart on The Daily Show takes conservatives to task for hypocrisy over class warfare in this amusing show.

Inconsistency, contradiction, and prejudice - (5:18) amusing Daily Show clip about John McCain's repeated inconsistent statements on allowing homosexuals in the military that likely reveal and protect a prejudice [added 12/16/10]

Inconsistencies - (5:43) humorous clip from The Daily Show of how commentators often contradict themselves [added 3/25/09]

"430 new demographics that will decide the election" - (2:40) Amusing piece from The Onion that pokes fun at all the subgroups identified in election -- Dunkin' Donut Independents, Dinty Moore dads, dental office receptionists who plan on going back to school to get real estate degrees someday, etc. [added 3/22/09]

Procrastination - (4:15) Just a fun video, in case you need an excuse to... [added 6/2/08]

Conversation with Banaji and Greenwald on the IAT - (14:14) [added 4/15/08]

Prior attitudes influence formation of new ones - (0:33) This commercial is an excellent example. [added 4/4/08]

Shifts in attitudes on The Pill - (0:30) view brief clips of individuals describing their views before the pill and after the pill [12/10/07]

How much money would it take to...? - (6:43) Warning: This one is a little offbeat! Olde English, which appears to be some type of video sketch comedy group, produced this short film in which they ask people, "How much money would it take for you to kill a puppy with your bare hands?" You see how people respond to this question. Then, later in the video they return to these people with a live puppy and a blank check to see if they really will kill a puppy for the amount of money they said it would take. Just to let you know, the video ends with the line, "No puppies were harmed in the making of this sketch." [added on 12/1/04]


Class Assignments


CensusScope - easy and well organized way to search through the 2010 U.S. Census data, with charts, maps and rankings - do any of you have your students look at and use demographic data of any type? I would like to hear what kinds of activities or assignments you use so I can share them with the group. Send any ideas to me at [added 6/7/02]

SurveyWiz - This simple-to-use tool by Michael Birnbaum allows you or your students to create surveys for use on the Web or elsewhere. [added 6/9/04]

Paper Assignments

Group paper - interesting assignment in Michael Milburn's Social Attitudes and Public Opinion course [added 9/20/08]

Analyzing an ideology - students "describe and analyze a set of beliefs or attitudes held by" someone or some group they know - includes model papers - from Daryl J. Bem


Attitude/Behavior Consistency

Inconsistency - McDonald's tells its employees to avoid unhealthy fast food. [added 2/19/14]

Attitude/behavior inconsistency - talking on the phone while driving [4/9/11]

Interpreting events to fit prior beliefs - Interesting paper describing "cases of epilepsy that were interpreted as voodoo possession" [added 1/13/10]

Inconsistencies - humorous clip from The Daily Show of how commentators often contradict themselves [added 3/25/09]

"The guilty green" - Describes the guilt many environmentally-conscious people feel when their behavior is not always consistent with their beliefs [added 12/26/07]

How much money would it take to...? - Warning: This one is a little offbeat! Olde English, which appears to be some type of video sketch comedy group, produced this short film in which they ask people, "How much money would it take for you to kill a puppy with your bare hands?" You see how people respond to this question. Then, later in the video they return to these people with a live puppy and a blank check to see if they really will kill a puppy for the amount of money they said it would take. Just to let you know, the video ends with the line, "No puppies were harmed in the making of this sketch." [added on 12/1/04]

Behavioral Intentions

Fishbein and Ajzen say that our behavior roughly equals our behavioral intentions. They go on to say that our behavioral intentions equal our weighted attitudes plus our weighted social norms. I find this easy to relate to the use of steroids. In the summer, in the gym where I work out, there are several football players who go through a cycle of steroids just before season. The pressure to do the drugs is high because it is so accepted in the gym. I feel I refrained because my attitude toward the use of steroids was so strong coupled with my motivation to comply with the social norm was extremely low. I therefore refrained from steroids because that was my behavioral intention.

Behavior Affects Attitudes

Saying-is-believing effect - Any Bachelor fans out there? The T.V. show? Well, if you missed the exciting last season, you missed a very clever use of the saying-is-believing effect. As seen in this video clip, contestant Courtney lures Bachelor Ben into a mock wedding ceremony. She also convinces him to write fake wedding vows that they then repeat to each other as part of the mock ceremony. Unfortunately, the video clip does not include the very romantic vows themselves, but you get the idea. Guess who Bachelor Ben finally proposed to? Yep, clever Courtney. [added 6/20/12]

Saying-is-believing effect - If you say you like a random person will you actually like that person more? How do you like this issue so far? Come on, you can tell me. [added 6/18/12]

Mere exposure effect [added 3/31/04]

The yo-yo trap - an example of low-balling [added 3/30/04]

A good example of behavior affecting attitudes is as follows. I watched Fall From Grace the other night. It was the story about Jim and Tammy Baker and the crime he/she committed. It was interesting to hear the actor who played Jim Baker talk about how unjust our society is to give Jim Baker forty-five years in prison and Oliver North seminars at schools. It seems he became sympathetic towards Mr. Baker after playing him. I'm assuming this affected his attitude although I obviously don't know how he felt about it before he took the role. Its just that most people don't feel sympathetic towards Jim Baker. (False consensus?)

Foot-in-the-door phenomenon - I noticed that Channel 11 uses the foot-in-the-door technique to solicit subscribers to their network. They could send out fliers or they could just tell people from time to time that the station needs and wants their subscriptions. However, they ask their viewers to make a "commitment." They ask the viewers to call them (an insignificant request). Once they have made the call and committed themselves to a specific amount, their need to be consistent "should" motivate them to complete the pledge by sending the money. Evidently, it doesn't work 100% of the time, because they have encouraged people to take their "credit cards" to the phone with them. Charging the subscription eliminates the possibility of procrastination or retraction of the commitment. They also use the social consensus technique by letting the viewers view the busy operators and hear the phones ring. If viewers believe that other people are subscribing, they are more likely to comply with the request.

Foot-in-the-door phenomenon - Women will sometimes be persuaded to let a date come up to their apartment at the end of an evening, "just for one drink". Though reluctant the woman feels obligated if she allowed the man to pay her way--the reciprocity norm takes hold of her. If the woman seems to be easy prey he may tell her how tired he has suddenly become and ask if he could just lie on the sofa for "a few minutes"--since the weather is bad and he has a long drive it may not be safe to get behind the wheel just yet. If he has made it this far, asking to spend the night, which would have first seemed out of the question, is now likely to be met with "sure I guess that would be all right."

Door-in-the-face phenomenon - This cartoon shows that Calvin understood how to use the phenomenon. Unfortunately, his mom did as well. [added 1/22/15]

Door-in-the-face phenomenon - from Christine Smith at Antioch College: "You are approached by a charity group, such as Big Brothers/Big Sisters. They would like you to be a Big Sister in the program, which involves a 2 year commitment. Although worthy, you cannot make that commitment, so you refuse because of the time commitment. They compromise with a "counteroffer"...if you can't be a Big Sister, would you be willing to donate $10 so we can take a child in the program to the circus? Because they have compromised (and it is a worthy cause), you agree because you can indeed spare $10.

The door-in-the-face works more for perceived worthy causes. It doesn't work with "Can you write a 20 page paper for me?" "No, how about a 5 page paper?" The other key is compromise--they compromised by lowering the offer, so you respond by agreeing." [added 10/20/05]

Attitude Formation

Prior attitudes influence attitude formation - African-Americans have generally been opposed to same-sex marriage, until now. What might have changed their attitudes? President Obama, whom they also favor, recently has come out publicly in support of same-sex marriage. A lot of other social psych concepts are in play here. Can your students identify several of them? [added 6/20/12]

Prior attitudes shape current ones - "Currently, in the midst of the Obama administration, two-thirds of Republicans (65%) support the so-called "watchdog role" for the press, compared with 55% of Democrats. But last year, while Bush was still in office, only 44% of Republicans felt it was good that press criticism keeps political leaders honest, and Democrats were much more pro watchdog (71% supported press criticism)." [added 1/15/10]

Prior attitudes influence formation of new ones - This commercial is an excellent example. [added 4/4/08]

Cognitive Dissonance

Reducing cognitive dissonance - Do carbon offsets allow us to reduce our guilt about polluting the environment? [added 7/14/07]

Dissonance Corner - example of and ways to reduce dissonance from Lisa Aspinwall [added 1/5/06]

How much money would it take to...? - Warning: This one is a little offbeat! Olde English, which appears to be some type of video sketch comedy group, produced this short film in which they ask people, "How much money would it take for you to kill a puppy with your bare hands?" You see how people respond to this question. Then, later in the video they return to these people with a live puppy and a blank check to see if they really will kill a puppy for the amount of money they said it would take. Just to let you know, the video ends with the line, "No puppies were harmed in the making of this sketch." [added on 12/1/04]

Well, I sure caught myself today. I got ready for work this morning, drove to work, parked and walked into the building. I went through the lobby and downstairs to my floor. When I got to the bottom of the stairs I noticed that my shoes felt odd. I looked down and was absolutely aghast. I had on two different shoes! Boy, did my mind go to work trying to justify this me. First it was okay because it gets light so much later in the morning and i dress in the dark now (never mind the fact that I consciously decided not to turn the bedroom light on)... lack of consistency as I don't always do this. Second it was okay because as the day went on many people came up to me and told me they had done the same thing once (I wasn't alone!)... Consensus from coworkers helped relieve the dissonance I felt.

I hate the name Marvin. I've always hated the name. It doesn't sound masculine. It sounds like his mother must have hated him. When I hear it, my schema says "spoiled brat." In my mind, there are no good cognitions associated with the name. Since I never knew a Marvin when I was growing up, I don't know why I have such strong feelings about the name. If anyone would have told me that someday I would be married to a Marvin, I would have told them they were off their rocker. But that's exactly what happened. However, I still dislike the name so much, that sometimes my mind refuses to let my mouth say it. I can't tell you how many times I've slipped and called him Norman. I have never dated a Norman, so I don't know why my mind insists on substituting that name, but it does. As you can imagine, my husband fails to see any humor in this. At any rate, my husband is a very kind and generous man. He is not at all like the schema that I continue to associate with his name. In order to maintain a feeling of consistency, and to relieve dissonance regarding the conflict between my attitude and actions, I've convinced myself that my husband is an exception to the rule.

I feel "out of control!" As the Spring Quarter comes to a close, I'm worried that I can't bring it all together. There's so much to do. I feel dissonance when I try to study. Sometimes it is so overwhelming that I can't concentrate. What shall I work on first. In which class do I have the best chance. In which class will it make very little difference how much I study. My husband is frustrated and confused. He can't understand why I'm so irritable. He can't understand why I don't want to go anywhere. He's starting going places without me. I don't like that. That bothers me too. Then there's my home. I haven't dusted or vacuumed in weeks. I've managed to keep up with the laundry and subsistence meals, but I have things in my refrigerator that are undoubtedly three months old. That's not like me. I'm violating my self perception, which is causing more dissonance. I have completely neglected my friends since I've been in school. I hope they will forgive me when this is all over. I hope there will be someone left to come to my graduation? Worst of all, I'm paying a good deal of money to be tortured this way. Am I a masochist? Why else would I inflict such punishment on myself. I could be back on that good-paying easy job that I detested so much. That's it; that's why I'm doing this! I want the second half of my life to be more rewarding. If I can only hold onto an "illusion of control" for one more week, I'll be a North Central College Senior.

Topic Resources

 "Misinformation and education in a post-truth world" - Of course, shifting attitudes and beliefs are often the result of misinformation and fake news that we have heard so much about.  David Myers provides some examples and addresses the topic in this short blog entry.

Quickly shifting attitudes and beliefs - It will be fascinating to watch American politics over the next four years, for so many reasons.  One reason will be the quickly shifting attitudes and beliefs resulting from the hyper-partisan environment we now live in in the U.S.  In the previous issue I sent you a couple examples.  Here are some more examples of attitudes and beliefs changing quite dramatically depending on who is saying what about ... whatever.  What do your students think about people who would change their beliefs so quickly?  Your students would never say they were so fickle, would they?  Here are some more examples. David Myers provides some insight into this question.  It would be a good, brief essay for your students to read as they discuss this topic.  I would love to hear from those of you who live outside of the U.S. if a similar phenomenon of quickly shifting attitudes/beliefs from hyper-partisanship has developed in your country as well.  Please share examples if there are any.

How did U.S. economic confidence dramatically surge/depress in just two weeks time? - Oh yes, there was a presidential election in between.  Amazing how Republican and Democrat confidence judgments of our current economy changed so quickly.

"Why are some of us better at handling contradictory information?"

 How do you get teenagers to eat less junk food? - Frame it as an act of rebellion!  This study did so quite cleverly with positive effects.

Are your attitudes based in morality? - This fascinating research found that if participants were told that their attitudes seemed to be based in morality (rather than equality, or tradition, or practicality) they were less likely to change them and more likely to follow up on them.

30% U.S. teachers tell students that climate change is "likely due to natural causes" - From a survey just published in Science

Republicans like Obama's ideas better when they are Trump's - Excellent research study found issues that Obama and Trump agree upon and presented them as supported by one or the other.  They also asked Democrats.

When facts threaten beliefs, we downplay need for such facts - "The first presented participants with a summary statement from a conference on science and God. When it suggested that science could one day settle the question of God's existence, religious participants wavered in their religious conviction, rating it significantly lower than those told that science was not armed to answer such questions. The very possibility that the religious belief was falsifiable made it vulnerable."

"Why gay marriage opponents lost: The social angle" - good brief essay looking at how such changes can evolve [added 1/22/15]

The licensing effect - If you have just exercised do you give yourself the license to eat something fattening? In other words, might your good intentions backfire in some instances? This blog entry describes a fascinating recent study: "Participants were told that they would be evaluating a new brand of scissors. Part of the evaluation process required them to rate how good the scissors were at cutting out shapes (such as triangles and squares) from a stack of approximately 200 sheets of plain, white paper. Half the participants tested the scissors in a room where there weren’t any recycling facilities, only a trash can. The other half completed the task in a room where recycling facilities were available in addition to a regular trash can. The participants were purposely not given any specific instructions about the sizes of the shapes or the amount of paper that they should use in the task. Instead they were simply told to dispose of any scraps in the receptacle(s) provided and then complete a ‘green attitude’ questionnaire that asked them about their beliefs and attitudes towards the environment. The results were quite simply staggering. Participants who evaluated the pair of scissors when recycling facilities were available used nearly three times more paper than the group who didn’t have recycling facilities. Interestingly this increase in the use of resources occurred regardless of how positive the participants’ ‘green attitudes’ were as measured in the post study questionnaire." [added 8/1/13]

"Dead indoor plants strengthen belief in global warming" - On the other hand, being exposed to healthy or no plants had no effects on one's beliefs. What about fake healthy or dead plants? [added 7/8/12]

Reduce littering with the smell of cleaning - "A team of Dutch social psychologists has proposed a simple solution to the litter problem on trains - infuse carriages with the citrus scent of cleaning product. Martinijn de Lange and his colleagues made their recommendation after conducting a field experiment in which they concealed seven small containers of cleaning product (spiced up with a little Capitaine perfume oil) in the luggage racks of two carriages on a train travelling between Amersfoort-Schothorst and Enkhuizen, a journey of one hour and forty-four minutes."
[added 7/8/12]

Memory for our prior intentions is unreliable - "Nearly six hundred undergrads answered open-ended questions about why they'd purchased, downloaded or copied their most recently acquired album (the vast majority had acquired one within the last two weeks), and then they provided the same information again six months to a year later. The participants' answers fell into five main categories: because they liked the artist, liked the music, liked a specific song or songs, someone had recommended the album, or they needed the album for a specific purpose. The key finding was that only one in five participants gave a consistent reason or reasons at both time points....Unsurprisingly perhaps, participants who recalled more reasons at the first time point tended to be more prone to forgetting reasons when quizzed again later. This was also true of participants who reported liking their CD more, perhaps because they'd felt less need to dwell on their motives at the time they acquired the album. A subset of 82 of the participants also gave their reasons at a third time point, approximately six months to a year after the second time of questioning. Although still evident, changes in memory between the second and third time points were far reduced compared with between the first and second time points. This is important for real-life legal situations because consistency of answers across later interviews could be interpreted as a sign of memory reliability. 'It appears critical to have an accurate and complete record of the very first interview given by a witness,' the researchers said." [added 4/28/11]

Using the IAT to predict suicide? - [added 7/13/10]

Can the aIAT detect lying? Can you cheat on it? - It has been suggested that the autobiographical IAT (aIAT) can serve as a lie-detection tool. However, this research suggests people can be easily trained to fool it. [added 1/18/10]

"How to turn a liberal into a conservative" - "Across three studies, Paul Nail and colleagues tested the conservatism and liberalism of students before and after subjecting them to a threat. Their consistent finding was that a threat turned liberal students into conservatives." [added 1/18/10]

Conspiracy theorists - Do they even exist? I have my doubts. [added 1/18/10]

Just reading about it wore me out - A blog entry about some fascinating research in which participants reported a greater willingness to exercise when the instructions were written in easily read font than in a hard to read font. Similar results were found for instructions for making sushi. [4/17/09]

Try this out on your class. Give them the above blog entry to read for the next class. However, surreptiously hand half the class the article in an easy-to-read font and the other half the article in a more difficult-to-read font. Then, at the beginning of the next class ask how many of each group actually read the article. If you do not like that idea, you can probably think of many variations of this manipulation. [added 7/25/09]

Changing beliefs changes behavior - interesting report of a study on how changing students' beliefs in free will increased their cheating behavior [added 5/09/08]

Libertarian paternalism - interesting essay about "nudging" people towards desired behavior by helping to choose for them [added 5/09/08]

"A resource belief-curse: Oil and individualism" - This is a strangely interesting study: "We study the correlation between a belief concerning individualism and a measure of luck in the US during the period 1983-2004. The measure of beliefs is the answer to a question related to whether the poor should be helped by the government or if they should help themselves, while the measure of luck is the share of the oil industry in the state’s economy multiplied by the price of oil. The correlation is negative, suggesting that more reliance on luck is correlated with less individualism." [added 4/6/08]

Left-wing brains vs. Right-wing brains - You may have heard this study comparing the accuracy of liberals and conservatives on an inhibition task, and the neurological correlates. The media had a field day misinterpreting and overblowing this one. [added 11/17/07]

"The education of Shelby Knox" - In a P.O.V. show on PBS, "A self-described 'good Southern Baptist girl,' 15-year-old Shelby Knox of Lubbock, Texas has pledged abstinence until marriage. But she becomes an unlikely advocate for comprehensive sex ed when she finds that Lubbock, where high schools teach abstinence as the only safe sex, has some of the highest rates of teen pregnancy and STDs in the state." [added 1/2/06]

Abstinence-only education - Report from Advocates for Youth entitled "Five years of abstinence-only-until-marriage education: Assessing the impact" [added 1/2/06]

Abstinence-only education - An opposing view on the above issue from The Heritage Foundation in this report entitled "Adolescent virginity pledges and risky sexual behaviors." [added 1/2/06]

Theory of Planned Behavior - Icek Aizen makes available on his site an explanation of the theory of planned behavior (in a nice, graphical, interactive format) as well as access to a number of his articles [added 6/7/02]

Self-determination Theory - a site from Edward Deci et al. on their motivational theory -- it includes an overview, bibliography, discussion of the reward controversy (overjustification effect), related scales that can be downloaded and more [added 6/6/02]

Survey/Polling Data

How to increase voter turnout - "Would-be voters received one of three kinds of phone call: either they were encouraged to vote and reminded of their duty; they were asked whether they intended to vote; or they were asked more detailed questions about when, where etc they planned to vote. A control group received no phone call. A classic study in the 1980s found that simply asking people if they intended to vote ended up making them more likely to vote - a phenomenon known as the 'self-prophecy effect'. However, this effect wasn't replicated here. Would-be voters in the current study, who were simply asked whether they planned to vote or not, were barely more likely to vote than the control group. Same story for the participants who received a call with encouragement to vote. By contrast, would-be voters who were asked questions about the when and where of their voting intentions were, on average, 4.1 per cent more likely to vote than controls. There's a further twist. Digging deeper the researchers realised that the detailed questions about voting intentions only exerted an influence on would-be voters who were the sole eligible voter in their household. Focusing on just these people, the detailed voting intentions phone call led to an average 9.1 per cent increase in turnout." [added 7/13/10]

European Values Survey (EVS) - From The Scout Report: "Based in the Netherlands the EVS concerns itself with asking Europeans about religion and morality, politics, work and leisure, and relationships. On their homepage, visitors can learn about their work by clicking on the "Organization" area. After learning a bit about their organizational structure, visitors will want to look at previous and current surveys. These are located along the left-hand side of the homepage, and they include surveys from 1981, 1990, 1999, and 2000. While visitors do not have access to the raw data on the site, they can look at the questionnaires and read publications based on this research. However, visitors do have access to the World Values Survey (WVS) data, which is available in the 'Values Survey, 1981-2004' section." [4/17/09]

"California same-sex marriage issues survey" - [added 6/6/08]

Survey of American youth - "Monitoring the Future is an ongoing study of the behaviors, attitudes, and values of American secondary school students, college students, and young adults. Each year, a total of approximately 50,000 8th, 10th and 12th grade students are surveyed (12th graders since 1975, and 8th and 10th graders since 1991). In addition, annual follow-up questionnaires are mailed to a sample of each graduating class for a number of years after their initial participation." [added 8/05/07]

Attitudes between citizens of neighboring Asian countries - A survey from the Pew Research Center -- "There is a good deal of dislike, if not outright hostility, in how the publics of major Asian countries view their neighbors. The deepest divides exist between traditional rivals - roughly seven-in-ten Japanese express an unfavorable view of China and an equal number of Chinese dislike Japan. Similarly, most Indians have an unfavorable view of Pakistan and most Pakistanis hold negative views about India." [added 12/30/06]

Pew Global Attitudes Project - "The Pew Global Attitudes Project is a series of worldwide public opinion surveys. More than 90,000 interviews in 50 countries have been conducted as part of the project." Current surveys include one in predominantly Muslim countries on the degree to which Islamic extremism is perceived as a threat in their countries. [added 7/6/06]

A blog on analyzing polling data - "Political arithmetik: Where numbers and politics meet" is a blog from Charles Franklin, a professor of political science, in which he explains political bias in polls, the statistical analysis of them, and more. Lots of good examples and very detailed analysis. [added 7/6/06]

National Youth Poll - Hamilton College conducted a national survey of the high school class of 2006 on the hot button issues of guns, gays and abortion. [added 2/22/06]

Living with debt - A report on changing attitudes and behavior towards living in debt within the U.S. -- "Robert D. Manning of Rochester Institute of Technology conducted in-depth interviews and group discussions with nearly 150 people to better understand American's attitudes and behaviors when it comes to their debt." [added 1/10/06]

Survey on midlife sexuality - "2004 update of attitudes and behaviors: Sexuality at midlife and beyond" from AARP [added 9/20/05]

Survey data from NORC - another source of polling data from a national organization for research at the University of Chicago -- polls and reports on 9-11 and other topics [added 9/20/05]

"Discover what the world thinks about U.S." - Here is another site that includes polling data about how others feel about America. It also includes audio and video from around the world translated into English. [added 8/30/05]

How the U.S. is perceived around the world (2004) - a series of pieces on international perceptions of the U.S. including country by country surveys -- which can be compared and contrasted to American perspectives [added 12/1/04]

Attitudes about homosexuality - "This study is a compilation of public opinion polls on acceptance of homosexuality, gay marriage, civil unions, partner benefits, party identification and voting of gays, employment, and adoption. The study includes all of the latest polling data as well as important historical trends for comparative purposes." From the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research [added 3/20/05]

Health Poll Report - "Kaiser Health Poll Report is a bimonthly report designed to provide key tracking information on public opinion about health care topics to journalists, policymakers and the general public. Each Current Feature includes poll findings on a unique and timely topic, while the other sections track public opinion on some key broad questions over time." View the actual poll questions and summary of responses for a large number of topics including Americans' views of disability and public attitudes towards HIV/AIDS. [added 12/1/04]

World Values Survey - "The World Values Survey is a worldwide investigation of sociocultural and political change. It is conducted by a network of social scientist at leading universities all around world. The survey is performed on nationally representative samples in almost 80 societies on all six inhabited continents. A total of four waves have been carried since 1981 allowing accurate comparative analysis." Find the questionnaires used. Data sets are available for analysis, even some online analysis. [added 3/23/04]

CensusScope - easy and well organized way to search through the 2000 U.S. Census data, with charts, maps and rankings - do any of you have your students look at and use demographic data of any type? I would like to hear what kinds of activities or assignments you use so I can share them with the group. Send any ideas to me at [added 6/7/02]

Polling Data - states that it is "an independent, nonpartisan resource on trends in American public opinion." You can find an extensive collection of polling results on a variety of topics here, and it is kept current

Survey Research Center - from Princeton University - links to a considerable amount of survey and poll data and other related resources

Cognitive Dissonance

"When is it okay to lie? Teens answer" - [added 6/6/08]

Origins of cognitive dissonance - story about some fascinating research which investigated and found apparent dissonance-reducing strategies in four-year-old children and capuchin monkeys -- here is the original research article [added 12/16/07]

    • Then, read this article discounting the cognitive dissonance explanation in the above research (and in much of the cognitive dissonance research in the past) and replacing it with a "Monty Hall" explanation
    • Also, here is a New York Times article discussing the second article's critique
    • Finally, here is a video explaining the Monty Hall dilemma and two sites where you can play the Monty Hall game [added 4/16/08]

Iraq on the Record - This site reportedly catalogs public misrepresentations by the Bush administration regarding the Iraq war. The site was prepared at the direction of democratic representative Henry Waxman. [added 6/9/04]

Links to some cognitive dissonance resources on the Web

"Attitudes and Cognitive Organization" - classic article by Fritz Heider (1946)

"Cognitive Consequences of Forced Compliance" - classic article by Festinger and Carlsmith (1959)



Articles, Books, and Book Chapters (available online)
Book Chapters

Bem, D. J. (1972). Self-perception theory. In L. Berkowitz (Ed.), Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, (Vol. 6, pp. 1-62). New York: Academic Press.

Brown, J. (1997). Introduction. In J. Brown, The Self. New York: Psychology Press.

Brown, J. (1997). Who Am I?. In J. Brown, The Self. New York: Psychology Press.

Brown, J. (1997). Self-development. In J. Brown, The Self. New York: Psychology Press.

Brown, J. (1997). Self-knowledge. In J. Brown, The Self. New York: Psychology Press.

Brown, J. (1997). Self-assessment. In J. Brown, The Self. New York: Psychology Press.

Brown, J. (1997). Self-regulation. In J. Brown, The Self. New York: Psychology Press.

Brown, J. (1997). Self-presentation. In J. Brown, The Self. New York: Psychology Press.

Brown, J. (1997). Self-esteem. In J. Brown, The Self. New York: Psychology Press.

Brown, J. (1997). Depression. In J. Brown, The Self. New York: Psychology Press.

Brown, J. (1997). Illusion and Well-being. In J. Brown, The Self. New York: Psychology Press.

Dijksterhuis, A., Albers, L.W., & Bongers, K.C.A. Digging for the real attitude: Lessons from research on implicit and explicit self-esteem. In R. Petty, R. Fazio, & P. Brinol, (Eds.,) Attitudes: Insights from the New Wave of Implicit Measures, 229-250. New York: Psychology Press.

Fazio, R. H., & Olson, M. A. (2003). Attitudes: Foundations, functions, and consequences. In M. A. Hogg & J. Cooper (Eds.), The Handbook of Social Psychology (pp. 139-160). London: Sage.

Greenwald, A. G. (1968). Cognitive learning, cognitive response to persuasion, and attitude change. In A. G. Greenwald, T. C. Brock, and T. M. Ostrom (Eds.), Psychological foundations of attitudes (pp. 147-170). New York: Academic Press.

Heise, D. (1970). The semantic differential and attitude research. Chapter 14 in Attitude Measurement. Edited by Gene F. Summers. Chicago: Rand McNally, 1970, pp. 235-253.

Herek, G.M. (2000). The social construction of attitudes: Functional consensus and divergence in the US public's reactions to AIDS. In G. Maio & J. Olson (Eds.), Why we evaluate: Functions of attitudes (pp. 325-364). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Richardson, James T. (1993). A social psychological critique of "brainwashing" claims about reqruitment to new religions. The Handbook of Cults and Sects in America. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press, Inc., pp. 75-97.

Wegner, D. M. (1992). You can't always think what you want: Problems in the suppression of unwanted thoughts. In M. Zanna (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology, (Vol. 25, pp. 193-225). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.

Wegner, D. M., Eich, E., & Bjork, R. A. (1994). Thought suppression. In D. Druckman & R. A. Bjork (Eds.), Learning, remembering, believing: Enhancing human performance (pp. 277-293). Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

Wegner, D. M., & Vallacher, R. R. (1986). Action identification. In R. M. Sorrentino & E. T. Higgins (Eds.), Handbook of motivation and cognition: Foundations of social behavior (pp. 550-582). New York: Guilford.

Wegner, D. M. & Wenzlaff, R. M. (2000). Thought suppression. In S. T. Fiske (Ed.), Annual review of psychology (Vol. 51, pp. 59-91). Palo Alto, CA: Annual Reviews.

Wegner, D. M. & Wheatley, T. P. (2001). Automaticity in action. In N. J. Smelser & P. B Baltes (Eds.), International encyclopedia of the social and behavioral sciences (pp. 991-993). London: Pergamon.


Albarracín, D., Johnson, B. T., Fishbein, M., & Muellerleile, P. A. (2001). Theories of reasoned action and planned behavior as models of condom use: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 127, 142-161.

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Bandler, R., Madaras, G., & Bem, D. J. (1968). Self-observation as a source of pain perception. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 9, 205-209.

Baron, A.S., Banaji, M.R. (2006). The development of implicit attitudes: Evidence of race evaluations from ages 6, 10 & adulthood. Psychological Science, vol. 17 (1), pp. 53-58.

Baron, J., & Kemp, S. (2004). Support for trade restrictions, attitudes, and understanding of comparative advantage. Journal of Economic Psychology, 25, 565-580.

Bellezza, F. S., Greenwald, A. G., & Banaji, M. R. (1986). Words high and low in pleasantness as rated by male and female college students. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, and Computers, 18, 299-303.

Bem, D. J. (1966). Inducing belief in false confessions. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 3, 707-710.

Bem, D. J. (1967). Self-perception: An alternative interpretation of cognitive dissonance phenomena. Psychology Review, 74, 183-200.

Bem, D. J., & McConnell, H. K. (1971). Testing the self-perception explanation of dissonance phenomena: On the salience of premanipulation attitudes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 14, 23-31.

Bem, S. L., & Bem, D. J. (1973). Does sex-biased job advertising "aid and abet" sex discrimination? Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 1, 6-18.

Carnagey, N. L. & Anderson, C. A. (2007). Changes in attitudes towards war and violence after September 11, 2001. Aggressive Behavior, 33, 118-129.

Dunham, Y., Baron, A.S., Banaji, M.R. (2006). From American city to Japanese village: A cross-cultural investigation of implicit race attitudes. Child Development.

Eagly, A. H., Chen, S., Chaiken, S., & Shaw-Barnes, K. (1999). The impact of attitudes on memory: An affair to remember. Psychological Bulletin, 125, 64-89.

Ebert, I. D., Steffens, M. C., von Stulpnagel, R., & Jelenec, P. (2009). How to like yourself better, or chocolate less: Changing implicit attitudes with one IAT task. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45, 1098-1104.

Egan, L. C., Santos, L. R., & Bloom, P. (2007). The origins of cognitive dissonance: Evidence from children and monkeys. Psychological Science, 18, 978-983.

    • Read this blog entry about the above research.
    • Then, read this article discounting the cognitive dissonance explanation in the above research (and in much of the cognitive dissonance research in the past) and replacing it with a "Monty Hall" explanation
    • Also, here is a New York Times article discussing the second article's critique
    • Finally, here is a video explaining the Monty Hall dilemma and two sites where you can play the Monty Hall game

Eiser, J. R., Fazio, R. H., Stafford, T., & Prescott, T. J. (2003). Connectionist simulation of attitude learning: Asymmetries in the acquisition of positive and negative evaluations. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 29, 1221-1235.

Epley, N. & Van Boven, L. (2003). The unpacking effect in evaluative judgments: When the whole is less than the sum of its parts. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 39, 263-269.

Fazio, R. H. (2001). On the automatic activation of associated evaluations: An overview. Cognition and Emotion, 15, 115-141.

Fazio, R. H., Eiser, J. R., & Shook, N. J. (2004). Attitude formation through exploration: Valence asymmetries. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 87, 293-311.

Fazio, R. H., & Olson, M. A. (2003). Implicit measures in social cognition research: Their meaning and use. Annual Review of Psychology, 54, 297-327.

Fazio, R. H., Williams, C. J., & Powell, M. C. (2000). Measuring associative strength: Category-item associations and their activation from memory. Political Psychology, 21, 7-25.

Fazio, R. H., Zanna, M. P., & Cooper, J. (1977). Dissonance and self-perception: An integrative view of each theory's proper domain of application. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 13, 464-479.

Festinger, Leon & Carlsmith, James M. (1959). "Cognitive consequences of forced compliance". Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 58, 203-210.

Fong, G. T., Hammond, D., Laux, F. L., Zanna, M. P., Cummings, K. M., Borland, R., & Ross, H. (2004). The near-universal experience of regret among smokers in four countries: Findings from the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Survey. Nicotine and Tobacco Research, 6, 341-351.

Freitas, A.L., Azizian, A., Travers, S., & Berry, S.A. (2005). The evaluative connotation of processing fluency: Inherently positive or moderated by motivational context? Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 41, 636-644.

Galinsky, A.D., Stone, J. & Cooper, J. (2000). The reinstatement of dissonance and psychological discomfort following failed affirmations. European Journal of Social Psychology, 30, 123-147.

Greenwald, A. G. (1990). What cognitive representations underlie attitudes? Bulletin of the Psycholonomic Society, 28, 254-260.

Greenwald, A. G. (1975). On the inconclusiveness of "crucial" cognitive tests of dissonance versus self-perception theories. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 11, 490-499.

Greenwald, A. G., Draine, S. C., & Abrams, R. L. (1996). Three cognitive markers of unconscious semantic activation. Science, 273, 1699-1702.

Greenwald, A. G., & Ronis, D. L. (1978). Twenty years of cognitive dissonance: Case study of the evolution of a theory. Psychological Review, 85, 53-57.

Han, H. A., Olson, M. A., & Fazio, R. H. (2006). The influence of experimentally-created extrapersonal associations on the Implicit Association Test. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 42, 259-272.

Heider, Fritz. (1946). "Attitudes and Cognitive Organization". The Journal of Psychology, 21, 107-112.

Higgins, E. T., & Freitas, A.L. (2002). Enjoying goal-directed action: The role of regulatory fit. Psychological Science, 13, 1-6.

Higgins, E. T., Freitas, A. L., & Liberman, N. (2002). Regulatory fit and resisting temptation during goal pursuit. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 38, 291-298.

Higgins, E. T., Forster, J., Grant, H., & Idson, L. C. (2001). Success/failure feedback, expectancies, and approach/avoidance motivation: How regulatory focus moderates classic relations. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 37, 253-260.

Higgins, E. T., Idson, L. C., Freitas, A. L., Spiegel, S., Molden, D. C. (2003). Transfer of value from fit. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84, 1140-1153.

Hoshino-Browne, E., Zanna, A. S., Spencer, S. J., Zanna, M. P., Kitayama, S., & Lackenbauer, S. (2005). On the cultural guises of cognitive dissonance: The case of Easterners and Westerners. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 89, 294-310.

Koestner, R., Ryan, R. M., Bernieri, F., & Holt, K. (1984). Setting limits on children's behavior: The differential effects of controlling versus informational styles on children's intrinsic motivation and creativity. Journal of Personality, 54, 233-248.

Loewenstein, G. (1996). Out of control: visceral influences on behavior. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 65, 272-92.

Loewenstein, G. & Strahilevitz, M. (1998) The effects of ownership history on the valuation of objects. Journal of Consumer Research, 25, 276-289.

Lord, C. G., Ross, L., & Lepper, M. R. (1979). Biased assimilation and attitude polarization: The effects of prior theories on subsequently considered evidence. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 37, 2098-2109.

Madon, S., Guyll, M., Spoth, R. L., & Willard, J. (2004). Self-fulfilling prophecies: The synergistic accumulation of parents’ beliefs on children's drinking behavior. Psychological Science, 15, 837-845.

Maison, D., Greenwald, A. G., & Bruin, R. (2001). The Implicit Association Test as a measure of implicit consumer attitudes. Polish Psychological Bulletin, 2, 61-79.

Mann, T. L., Sherman, D. S., & Updegraff, J. A. (2004). Dispositional motivations and message framing: A test of the congruency hypothesis. Health Psychology, 23, 330-334.

Marsh, K. L., Johnson, B. T., & Scott-Sheldon, L. A. J. (2001). Heart versus reason in condom use: Implicit versus explicit attitudinal predictors of sexual behavior. Zeitschrift für Experimentelle Psychologie, 48, 161-175.

Olson, M. A., & Fazio, R. H. (2004). Reducing the influence of extra-personal associations on the Implicit Association Test: Personalizing the IAT. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 86, 653-667.

Olson, M. A., & Fazio, R. H. (2002). Implicit acquisition and manifestation of classically conditioned attitudes. Social Cognition, 20, 89-103.

Olson, M. A., & Fazio, R. H. (2001). Implicit attitude formation through classical conditioning. Psychological Science, 12, 413-417.

Payne, B. K., Burkley, M., & Stokes, M. B. (2008). Why do implicit and explicit attitude tests diverge? The role of structural fit. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 94, 16-31.

Payne, B.K., Cheng, C. M., Govorun, O., & Stewart, B. (2005). An inkblot for attitudes: Affect misattribution as implicit measurement. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 89, 277-293.

Payne, B. K., & Corrigan, E. (2007). Emotional constraints on intentional forgetting. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 43, 780-786.

Payne, B. K., Govorun, O., & Arbuckle, N. L. (2008). Automatic attitudes and alcohol: Does implicit liking predict drinking? Cognition and Emotion, 22, 238-271.

Payne, B. K., McClernon, J. F., & Dobbins, I. G. (2007). Automatic affective responses to smoking cues. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, 15, 400-409.

Sherman, D. K., Mann, T. L., & Updegraff, J. A. (2006). Approach/avoidance orientation, message framing, and health behavior: Understanding the congruency effect. Motivation and Emotion, 30, 164-168.

Silvia, P. J. (2003). Throwing away the key: Measuring prison reform attitudes. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 33, 2553-2564.

Stewart, B.D., & Payne, B.K. (2008). Bringing automatic stereotyping under control: Implementation intentions as efficient means of thought control. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34. 1332-1345.

Stone, J. & Cooper, J. (2000). A self-standards model of cognitive dissonance. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 1-16.

Updegraff, J. A., Sherman, D. K., Luyster, F. S., & Mann, T. L. (2007). The effects of message quality and congruency on perceptions of tailored health communications. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 43, 249-257.

Verschuere, B., Prati, V., & De Houwer, J. (2009). Cheating the lie detector: Faking in the Autobiographical Implicit Association Test. Psychological Science, 20, 410-413.

Wegner, D. M. (1994). Pink elephant tramples white bear: The evasion of suppression. Psycoloquy, 5(40).

Wegner, D. M. (2003). The mind's best trick: How we experience conscious ill. Trends in Cognitive Science, 7, 65-69.

Wegner, D. M., & Erber, R. (1992). The hyperaccessibility of suppressed thoughts. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 63, 903-912.

Wegner, D. M., & Lane, J. D. (1995). The cognitive consequences of secrecy. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 69, 237-253.

Wegner, D. M., Schneider, D. J., Carter, S., & White, T. (1987). Paradoxical effects of thought suppression. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 53, 5-13.

Wegner, D. M., Schneider, D. J., Knutson, B., & McMahon, S. R. (1991). Polluting the stream of consciousness: The effect of thought suppression on the mind's environment. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 15, 141-152.

Wegner, D. M., Shortt, J. W., Blake, A. W., & Page, M. S. (1990). The suppression of exciting thoughts. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 58, 409-418.

Wegner, D. M., & Vallacher, R. R. (1987). What do people think they're doing? Action identification and human behavior. Psychological Review, 94, 3-15.

Wegner, D. M., & Vallacher, R. R. (1987). The trouble with action. Social Cognition, 5, 179-190.

Wegner, D. M., Vallacher, R. R., Kiersted, G., & Dizadji, D. (1986). Action identification in the emergence of social behavior. Social Cognition, 4, 18-38.

Wegner, D. M., Wenzlaff, R. M., & Klein, S. B. (1991). The role of thought suppression in the bonding of thought and mood. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 60, 500-508.

Wegner, D. M., & Wheatley, T. P. (1999). Apparent mental causation: Sources of the experience of will. American Psychologist, 54, 480-492.

Wegner, D. M., & Zanakos, S. (1994). Chronic thought suppression. Journal of Personality, 62, 615-640.

Willard, J., Madon, S., Guyll, M., & Spoth, R. (2008). Self-efficacy as a moderator of positive and negative self-fulfilling prophecy effects: Mothers’ beliefs and children’s alcohol use. European Journal of Social Psychology, 38, 499-520.

Wilson, T.D., Lindsey, S., & Schooler, T. (2000). A model of dual attitudes. Psychological Review, 107, 101-126.



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