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Thomas R. Zentall, Cognitive dissonance or contrast?


Zentall suggests that the same mechanism underlies cognitive dissonance in humans and the within-trial contrast effect in pigeons (and humans). The contrast effect has face validity in explaining cognitive dissonance, but more research is needed to establish construct validity. To determine whether both phenomena share the same mechanism, future research should test (1) whether both share physiological processes, (2) whether individuals who show sensitivity to one are also sensitive to the other, and (3) whether both phenomena are affected by the same changes in an independent variable.

Author Biography

Travis R. Smith is a postdoctoral associate at the Language Research Center and Georgia State University. He studies risky choice, impulsive choice, and cognitive control in nonhuman animals. mjberan.com/