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Resistance to Change in the Self-Concept as a Function of Consensus Among Significant Others

Carl W. Backman, Paul F. Secord and Jerry R. Peirce
Sociometry
Vol. 26, No. 1 (Mar., 1963), pp. 102-111
DOI: 10.2307/2785728
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2785728
Page Count: 10
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Resistance to Change in the Self-Concept as a Function of Consensus Among Significant Others
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Abstract

The recent development of several cognitive theories promises a greater articulation between research and theory on the self-concept than has hitherto been the case. Interpersonal congruency theory, in particular, is concerned with stability and change in self. It suggests that the greater the number of significant other persons who are perceived to define an aspect of self congruently, the greater the resistance to change. The hypothesis was tested by choosing, for each individual, a self-ascribed trait that he believed five significant other persons generally attributed to him and a self-ascribed trait that he believed they did not. Strong pressure exerted toward changing these traits by means of a false personality assessment resulted in a greater change in the low consensus trait.

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