Dissonance reduction as emotion regulation: Attitude change is related to positive emotions in the induced compliance paradigm.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The aim of this study was to clarify how positive and negative emotions are related to the common attitude-change effect in cognitive dissonance research. Drawing on appraisal theories of emotion, and emotion-regulation research, we predicted that negative emotions would be inversely related to attitude change, whereas positive emotions would be positively related to attitude change in the induced compliance paradigm. In two studies, participants (N = 44; N = 106) wrote a counter-attitudinal essay under the perception of high choice, and were later asked to state their emotions in relation to writing this essay, as well as to state their attitude. Results confirmed the predictions, even when controlling for baseline emotions. These findings untangled a previously unresolved issue in dissonance research, which in turn shows how important emotion theories are for the understanding of cognitive dissonance processes.


External organisations
  • Stockholm University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Psychology


  • cognitive dissonance, induced compliance, emotions, emotion regulation, attitude change
Original languageEnglish
Article number0209012
Number of pages15
JournalPLoS ONE
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Dec 17
Publication categoryResearch