Cognitive dissonance Festinger (1957) explains the tension caused when an individual’s values do not align with their actions. Many people do not believe that animals should be mistreatment for human enjoyment, yet they continue to consume meat, therefore contributing to an industry that does not align with their attitudes towards animals. Studies have shown that when people are confronted with this dissonance they use avoidance or denial to cope with mental unrest. Previous results also indicate that attributed animal mind, rights, and suffering decrease after individuals are exposed to meat origin. The current study aims to assess if an individuals values and reminders of meat origin will impact responses to questionnaires about animals and also impact coping strategies. The participant sample is comprised of students at the College of Wooster. Participants complete the Schwartz Value Survey and then are randomly placed in one of three conditions. Follow up questionnaires assess their attitudes towards animals and strategies used to manage cognitive dissonance. Analysis revealed no significant effect of condition. However, correlation analysis indicated significant relationships between variables relevant to the hypothesis. Overall, future research should aim for higher numbers of participants and look towards alternative methods of reminder of meat origin.


Clayton, Susan




Social Psychology


cognitive dissonance, values, meat origin, attitudes towards animals

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2016 Anna Kruse