Does pupil dilation indicate cognitive dissonance and strength of attitude change? Replicating the spreading of alternatives effect in a blind-choice task.
The aim of the present research was twofold. First, we aimed to replicate a recent study by Sharot et al. (2010), which found evidence for the spreading of alternatives (SOA) effect. Second, we investigated the hypothesis that cognitive dissonance, which may explain an existing SOA effect, is accompanied by significant changes in pupil diameter. Our results provide neither support for this hypothesis nor do they replicate the SOA effect. We conclude that more research is needed to investigate the SOA effect and call for deploying more suitable experimental paradigms to investigate the link between cognitive dissonance states and pupillary changes.
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