Festinger and Carlsmith Study, Cognitive Dissonance

Leon Festinger and Merrill Carlsmith conducted an experiment in 1959 in order to demonstrate the phenomenon of cognitive dissonance. Students were asked to perform a boring task and then to convince someone else that it was interesting. The researchers theorized that people would experience a dissonance between the conflicting cognitions, “I told someone that the task was interesting”, and “I actually found it boring.”