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A student states that he supports gun ownership by individuals. In speech class, his teacher assigns him to present a persuasive speech on abolishing gun ownership by individuals. After arguing the opposing side, he finds his initially favorable attitude is changing. This can best be explained by :

  1. attitude incongruity
  2. the attitude-behavior dissimilarity theory
  3. attitude inoculation
  4. cognitive dissonance theory
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Answer is D

Cognitive dissonance theory postulates that an underlying psychological tension is created when an individual’s behavior is inconsistent with his or her thoughts and beliefs. This underlying tension then motivates an individual to make an attitude change that would produce consistency between thoughts and behaviors.

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