Cognitive Dissonance : Justification of Effort and its Effects on Athletic Performance in the Pool
Improvement was examined in young and adolescent swimmers during a summer swim season. Participants in the experimental group experienced cognitive dissonance by being told that practices were more difficult than they actually were. Participants in the control group were coached normally, with no extra dissonance being induced. In reality, all participants swam the same workouts at practices. In the proposed study, results would indicate that swimmers who experienced cognitive dissonance (experimental group) dropped more time from the beginning of the season to the end. In contrast, swimmers who would experience no dissonance (control group) would show less improvement from the beginning of the season to the end, in some cases actually remaining the same or becoming slower. These findings would suggest that dissonance reduction (specifically justification of effort), when applied to swimming, fosters improvement.
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