(Aronson and Mills 1959) The effect of severity of initiation on liking for a group

Aronson, Elliot; Mills, Judson. The effect of severity of initiation on liking for a group. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology. 1959 Sep; 59(2):177–181. Available from: http://www-pmhs.stjohns.k12.fl.us/teachers/higginj/0DBE81F6-0118C716.9/The%2520Effect%2520of%2520Severity%2520of%2520Initiation%2520on%2520Liking%2520for%2520a%2520Group,.pdf. Accessed 2012 May 30. Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/683M94H6t.

Applying Festinger’s theory of cognitive dissonance, Aronson and Mills report experimental confirmation of their prediction that hazing (unpleasant initiation requirements for entry to a group) will induce greater liking for the group on the part of new initiates. In essence, initiates who have been forced to pay a (metaphorical) price for entry to the group, in the form of enduring unpleasant experiences, acquire a strong motivation to believe that the group was worth the trouble.


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