On cognitive dissonance and social identity – big bosses, talent for people and sapiens.

I only realised how excited I am about social psychology when I stumbled upon some well-known concepts and theories in a couple of books I’ve been reading lately. That made me reflect on what I actually know about social psychology and I even went back to my course books and materials to do a semi-propper fact check. This time it’s about how individuals create their identity, or their self-concepts, in relation to their employer and how cognitive dissonance may (or may not) account for certain behaviours. Identity has been central in for example Kajsa Asplund’s “Talang för människor” or a bit more subtle in Palm’s & Alsgren’s “The Big Boss” alongside cognitive dissonance which also plays a role in Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari. Join me on a journey through three almost randomly selected books and what they can tell us about how psychological concepts are used in popular literature.

Please note: this is a post tagged with “Draft” which means that I am still working on it. Let me know in the comments if you have input or feedback so far.

Identity and self-concepts – how do we know who we are?

My notes on self-concept based on two of my favorite social psychology textbooks -> add sources

– Self-schemas –> self-concept –> identity (?)

– TfM refers to two main theories by Festinger, and Tajfel & Turner, and the main idea when it comes to the concept of identity (or self-concept) is that being chosen a talent does shift the level of comparison for an employee. The nomination is not enough (as some might think) to engage and motivate talents, since it leads to the renegotiation of the psychological contract between employee and employer. The employee (now officially a talent) expects even more from her employee and in addition, might even identify with a new group inside or outside the company (e.g. leadership team, engineering talents at different companies). A challenge with the underlying research (and Kajsa mentions this in her book) is that the causal relationship is not yet established, meaning that talents could for example already identify with the leadership team and thus be appointed talents or there might be a third, totally unrelated factor, that we are not aware of.

– Add notes on social comparison theory

Add notes on cognitive dissonance, overview with three possible outcomes to resolve dissonance

– TbB refers to Festinger both from 1984 and 1987. A entire chapter is dedicated to cognitive dissonance with the purpose to explain why people act in seemingly contradiction to them knowing better. And then there is a sporter snippet about social comparison theory and how threats from outside strengthen group relationships on p. 189. That’s a lot of social psychology to take in, let’s take it step by step. We know Festinger from earlier, are we talking about the same sources?

Sapiens describes cogntivie dissonance as the most central fuel to humanity, a quite contrasting perspective compared to earlier right?

When two or more cognitions do clash, it hurts.

Attitude and behaviour – how strong is the link?

Main findings from theory:

– does not only explain not buying but buying as well

– assumes that attitudes have a direct impact on behaviour

Reference list

– Psychology text books

– Kajsa Asplund – Talang för människor

– Palm & Algren – The Big Boss

– Yuval Noah Harari – Sapiens

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