Intragroup dissonance: Responses to ingroup violation of personal values

Date of Completion

January 2007


Psychology, Social




The present research draws on cognitive dissonance theory (Festinger, 1957) and social identity theory (Tajfel, 1978) to examine intragroup dissonance, a discrepancy between one's personal values and the behavior of one's ingroup that results in psychological discomfort. Across three experiments, I manipulated whether participants' ingroup violated a personal value, measured participants' emotional responses and use of dissonance-reduction strategies. As expected, individuals experienced psychological discomfort (but not negative self-directed emotion), when an ingroup, but not an outgroup, violated a personal value. In all experiments, disidentification was used as a dissonance-reduction strategy, such that psychological discomfort mediated the tendency to disidentify when the ingroup violated the personal value. Results are discussed with respect to social identity, cognitive dissonance theory and intragroup dynamics. ^