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English

Rationalization in act and problematic

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Niveau: Supérieur, Doctorat, Bac+8
Rationalization in act and problematic behaviour justification VALE RIE FOINTIAT * De partement de psychologie, Universite de Poitiers, France Abstract This paper addresses the alternate aspect of the rationalization process. Requiring individuals to provide justification for a problematic behaviour renders its cognitive rationalization easier and makes a rationalization in act less probable. The e?ect of rationalization in act decreases the individual's focus in his justification. _ 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. INTRODUCTION Exhibiting or engaging in problematic behaviours induces a state of dissonance (Festinger, 1957), which brings individuals to rationalize their acts. Beauvois and Joule (1996) define rationalization as a post-behavioural process through which a problematic behaviour becomes less problematic for the person who has displayed it. This process is achieved either by a post-readjustment of the cognitive representations to make them conform to the reality of the behaviour just accomplished—cognitive rationalization—or by performing another behaviour, more problematic than the one that aroused the dissonance—rationalization in act. These two rationalization processes are mutually exclusive as choosing one of them makes it highly unlikely that the other will also be chosen. Joule (1986) provides the first experimental demonstration of the rationalization through acts. This author showed that individuals who were unable to rationalize cognitively (due to a lack of time) were more inclined to rationalize in act.

  • justification

  • act than participants

  • problematic behaviour

  • request proved problematic

  • process

  • rationalisation cognitive versus rationalisation en acte dans le paradigme

  • request

  • cognitive rationalization

  • behaviour

  • his own


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Nombre de lectures 64
Langue English
European Journal of Social Psychology Eur. J. Soc. Psychol.28, 471±474 (1998)
Rationalization in act and problematic behaviour justi®cation
Â* VALERIE FOINTIAT DeÂpartement de psychologie, Universite de Poitiers, France
Abstract This paper addresses the alternate aspect of the rationalization process. Requiring individuals to provide justi®cation for a problematic behaviour renders its cognitive rationalization easier and makes a rationalization in act less probable. The eect of rationalization in act decreases the individual's focus in his justi®cation.#1998 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
INTRODUCTION
Exhibiting or engaging in problematic behaviours induces a state of dissonance (Festinger, 1957), which brings individuals to rationalize their acts. Beauvois and Joule (1996) de®ne rationalization as a post-behavioural process through which a problematic behaviour becomes less problematic for the person who has displayed it. This process is achieved either by a post-readjustment of the cognitive representations to make them conform to the reality of the behaviour just accomplishedÐ cognitive rationalization Ð orby performing another behaviour, more problematic than the one that aroused the dissonanceÐ rationalizationin act. These two rationalization processes are mutually exclusive as choosing one of them makes it highly unlikely that the other will also be chosen. Joule (1986) provides the ®rst experimental demonstration of the rationalization through acts. This author showed that individuals who were unable to rationalize cognitively (due to a lack of time) were more inclined to rationalize in act. The partici-pants were smokers and agreed to stop smoking for 3 days (which is very costly for them) after having agreed to abstain from smoking for a shorter period (18 hours). It
* Address for correspondence: V. Fointiat, D Âepartement de psychologie, UFR Sciences Humaines et Arts, 95, avenue du recteur Pineau, F-86022 Poitiers c Âedex, France. Te l: (33) 05-49-45-32-51. Fax: (33) 05-49-45-44-13. I thank the anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments on an earlier draft of this paper.
CCC 0046±2772/98/030471±04$17.50 #1998 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Received 13 June 1996 Accepted 15 April 1997