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When in doubt, shout! paradoxical influences of doubt on proselytizing.
Psychol Sci. 2010 Nov; 21(11):1701-7.PS

Abstract

A seminal case study by Festinger found, paradoxically, that evidence that disconfirmed religious beliefs increased individuals' tendency to proselytize to others. Although this finding is renowned, surprisingly, it has never been subjected to experimental scrutiny and is open to multiple interpretations. We examined a general form of the question first posed by Festinger, namely, how does shaken confidence influence advocacy? Across three experiments, people whose confidence in closely held beliefs was undermined engaged in more advocacy of their beliefs (as measured by both advocacy effort and intention to advocate) than did people whose confidence was not undermined. The effect was attenuated when individuals affirmed their beliefs, and was moderated by both importance of the belief and open-mindedness of a message recipient. These findings not only have implications for the results of Festinger's seminal study, but also offer new insights into people's motives for advocating their beliefs.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2001 Sheridan Rd., Evanston, IL 60208, USA. d-gal@kellogg.northwestern.eduNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

20943939

Citation

Gal, David, and Derek D. Rucker. "When in Doubt, Shout! Paradoxical Influences of Doubt On Proselytizing." Psychological Science, vol. 21, no. 11, 2010, pp. 1701-7.
Gal D, Rucker DD. When in doubt, shout! paradoxical influences of doubt on proselytizing. Psychol Sci. 2010;21(11):1701-7.
Gal, D., & Rucker, D. D. (2010). When in doubt, shout! paradoxical influences of doubt on proselytizing. Psychological Science, 21(11), 1701-7. https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797610385953
Gal D, Rucker DD. When in Doubt, Shout! Paradoxical Influences of Doubt On Proselytizing. Psychol Sci. 2010;21(11):1701-7. PubMed PMID: 20943939.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - When in doubt, shout! paradoxical influences of doubt on proselytizing. AU - Gal,David, AU - Rucker,Derek D, Y1 - 2010/10/13/ PY - 2010/10/15/entrez PY - 2010/10/15/pubmed PY - 2011/4/5/medline SP - 1701 EP - 7 JF - Psychological science JO - Psychol Sci VL - 21 IS - 11 N2 - A seminal case study by Festinger found, paradoxically, that evidence that disconfirmed religious beliefs increased individuals' tendency to proselytize to others. Although this finding is renowned, surprisingly, it has never been subjected to experimental scrutiny and is open to multiple interpretations. We examined a general form of the question first posed by Festinger, namely, how does shaken confidence influence advocacy? Across three experiments, people whose confidence in closely held beliefs was undermined engaged in more advocacy of their beliefs (as measured by both advocacy effort and intention to advocate) than did people whose confidence was not undermined. The effect was attenuated when individuals affirmed their beliefs, and was moderated by both importance of the belief and open-mindedness of a message recipient. These findings not only have implications for the results of Festinger's seminal study, but also offer new insights into people's motives for advocating their beliefs. SN - 1467-9280 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/20943939/When_in_doubt_shout_paradoxical_influences_of_doubt_on_proselytizing_ L2 - http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0956797610385953?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&rfr_id=ori:rid:crossref.org&rfr_dat=cr_pub=pubmed DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -