This study consists of 135 participants in Miami, Florida. Fifty seven (43%) of the participants were male while 77 were female (57%). One participant omitted to report their gender. Of these participants, 92 (68.1%) were enrolled college students at Florida International University while 43 (31.9%) were not. The age of participants ranged from 16 to 60 years old with an average of 24.08 (SD = 7.84). The ethnicity distribution was 104 Hispanic American (77%), 15 Caucasian (11%), 7 African American (5%), 6 Asian American (4%), and 3 participants did not fit into any of the above ethnicities (2%).
Materials and Procedure
To create a measure of cognitive dissonance, students in a research methods administered questionnaires. Before anything, the verbal consent of the participants was obtained. Participants were informed of the purpose of the study, the duration, the risks involved and the benefits. After the verbal informed consent was obtained, the study would then be able to take place. Each researcher from the research methods approached three different people at random to administer phase one and phase two of the study.
Phase one consisted of a writing task that varied on three different levels. There was a dissonance, positive, and neutral condition. Participants in the dissonance condition were given a writing task that asked them to reflect on an unethical act that they had committed in the past. Participants in the positive condition were given a writing task that asked them to reflect on a positive or worthy thing that they had done that gave them happiness. Participants in the neutral condition were given a writing task that asked them about how they spend their evenings. Prior to being given their writing tasks, the participants were told that they could keep their written responses. The independent variable of this study is the writing task given to the participant (dissonance, positive, or neutral).