Mar 30 • 1HR 2M

90 - Elliot Aronson: Cognitive Dissonance, Cooperation, And Juicy Stories About the History of Psychology

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Stanford Psychology Podcast
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Eric chats with Elliot Aronson, Professor Emeritus at UC Santa Cruz. Elliot is one of the 100 most influential psychologists of the 20th century. He is known for his work on cognitive dissonance, where people do crazy things but not for crazy reasons, as he puts it, and the Jigsaw Classroom, intended to establish cooperation in competitive environments. He is the only person ever to receive all major awards from the American Psychological Association: for writing, research, and teaching.

In this chat, Eric and Elliot go into a deep dive into the history of psychology and Elliot’s role in it. What was it like working with the influential psychologists Abraham Maslow and Leon Festinger? Why did these two people dislike each other so much? How did racial segregation motivate Elliot’s research? How can research ever address big social problems? Why are the 2010s the “decade of dissonance”?

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Elliot's book on dissonance and self-justification
Elliot's book introducing social psychology

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