Feedback of Information About the Values and Attitudes of Self and Others as Determinants of Long-Term Cognitive and Behavioral Change1


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    The present research is one of a series that has been supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation. This support is gratefully acknowledged.


Previous experiments designed to modify persons' values and subsequent attitudes and behavior have used direct self-confrontation procedures to arouse self-dissatisfaction in subjects. The present study compared the effects on values and behavior of the previously used self-confrontation procedure with a modified value-change procedure which did not confront subjects with information about their own values. Both procedures resulted in college students significantly increasing their ranking of the values equality and freedom. These changes were evident 4 weeks after the experimental procedures. Four months after the experimental treatments subjects were solicited to behaviorally support various activities of the Committee to End Racism, and subjects in both experimental groups showed a significantly greater behavioral effect than did control subjects. Thus, significant long-term value and behavioral change may be experimentally induced even when subjects are not provided objective information about their own value-attitude system.