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Commitment and Consistency

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Chapter 3, Commitment and Consistency

Milda Gailiunaite

Gina Levickiene

PSY 200

2012, March 26th

Commitment and Consistency

Our reactions, acts and feelings are based on social influence, but mostly our feelings towards our decisions are mostly based on that. We simply convince ourselves that we have made the right choice and , no doubt, feel better about our decision (Fazio, Bascovich & Driscoll, 1992) Or however, when in some sort of competition or in bets, immediately after casting a ballot, voter believe more strongly that their candidate will win (Regan & Kilduff, 1988).

There is a consistency principle in psychology. It is strong enough to make people act in a way, they never thought they would. The drive is to be, look, and act in a consistent way and not to feel discomfort. Consistency is valued and adaptive. For example people who seem inconsistent may be perceived as two-faced, confused or even mentally ill (Cialdini Robert). And those who act in consistent way look trustworthy, reliable, rational and so on. It is a good thing because it offers a shortcut through the complexities of modern life. Second action of mechanical consistency is sometimes making clear though unwanted thoughts not to slip into mind. It helps to avoid distractions, troubling realizations.

Mostly consistency is controlled my commitment. If one is able to make a commitment, he will have to set the stage for automatic and ill- considered consistency with earlier commitment. Once one promises to act in some kind of way, or promises to do something, then there is a natural tendency to behave in a way that is consistent with the stand. There are few commitment strategies used in everyday life. Ones are bluntly straightforward (clearly asking for a promise, putting one into a corner) and others are more subtle (giving hints, but letting them figure what to do and how to act in their minds). Other way is to start small and build up the commitment. It is more likely to achieve goal when it is smaller, then after doing few little things, the big one won't seem as big.

People's tru feelings come less from their word and more from their deeds. One way to see what people are actually feeling is to look at their actions, search for evident in your own behavior. It is a primary source of information about one's beliefs, values and attitudes (Bern, 1972; Vallacher & Wegner, 1985). People naturally thing that what the other person have said can reflect his or hers personality and an attitude. And people believe that event when they know, that the person who made the statement hadn't had a freedom to choose what to say. It seems that a statement of belief produces reaction in those who view it,



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