Unit 4

In this assignment, you will assess how
your attitudes and behaviors connect in order to understand how
cognitive dissonance as a cognitive process can influence the way you
think and what attitudes you hold. This assignment is divided into three
parts, so it is suggested that you begin working on it in advance.

Part I: Pick a
debatable issue that you think is important to address in society today
(e.g., universal healthcare). Write a paragraph discussing why you care
about and agree with the importance of this issue, and why others should
care about this issue as well. Allow one day before moving on to the
next part.

Part II: Make sure at
least one day has passed since writing the first paragraph. Now, write
another paragraph detailing what you personally do to promote this
viewpoint. What actions do you take to support this cause? How have you
specifically contributed to promoting this issue in the recent past? You
will include both of these paragraphs in your essay.

Part III: To complete
your essay, identify your chosen topic in an introductory section and
include your paragraphs from Parts I and II. Then, reflect on your
previous responses by addressing the following points.

Discuss the differences between your arguments from the first
paragraph (in which you show the importance of the topic) and the second
paragraph (in which you discuss how you personally act on your
viewpoint). Are your attitudes about the importance of the issue
reflected in your behaviors (i.e., is there dissonance between your
attitudes and your behaviors)? How do you feel about the level of
dissonance between your attitudes and behaviors?
Elaborate on whether you think that your opinion of the
importance of this topic has changed, particularly thinking about your
initial thoughts on the topic before you wrote either paragraph.
Briefly describe how experiencing cognitive dissonance about a
debatable issue may make a person more susceptible to social influence,
such as conformity, from others who hold opposing opinions.

Throughout your discussion,
incorporate research on cognitive dissonance from your textbook or
another resource to support your claims.

Your response should be at least two
pages in length, and you must use at least two academic sources as
references, one of which may be your textbook. All sources used,
including the textbook, must be referenced; paraphrased and quoted
material must have accompanying citations. Please format your paper and
all citations in accordance with APA guidelines.

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