PIRE Publication - Can values be manipulated arbitrarily?


Earlier research has indicated that value changes initiated through self-confrontation procedures are apparently unidirectional-that is, occur only in a direction that serves positive self-conceptions. However, to rule out the possibility that the previous findings may be the result of statistical regression, the present study replicated this earlier research and controlled for this possible artifact. Results indicated that the experimental treatment led to significant increases in equality 3 to 5 weeks later only among respondents whose values were inconsistent with their self-conceptions. The results thus provide further support for Rokeach's (1973) theory of cognitive organization and change and suggest that it is unlikely self-confrontation can be used to manipulate values in whatever direction is arbitrarily decided upon by an experimenter.

Grube, J. W.