Second Force Psychology to Assess Cognitive Dissonance Areas and Restore Full Service to Delinquents and Prison Inmates

By Cassel, Russell N. | Education, Summer 2001 | Go to article overview

Second Force Psychology to Assess Cognitive Dissonance Areas and Restore Full Service to Delinquents and Prison Inmates


Cassel, Russell N., Education


Second Force Psychology is presently the theory underlying the use of psycho-analysis throughout the health care facilities of the world, and serves as the principal means for health care with individuals displaying psychiatric disorders (Taylor, 1962). It derives directly from the early work of Sigmund Freud where "free association" is the technique for revealing areas and nature of hurts lying deep in the unconscious. Such hurts are believed to be directly associated with different areas of one's life space where personal needs have not been well gratified. The theory in Second Force Psychology follows that when the individual is fully aware of such areas of one's life space that foster such unconscious hurts, the individual on a conscious level can seek to find personal ways to relieve the hurts that are present. In December 1949 the New York Times did a survey to identify the 10 greatest contributions to society during the entire first half of the 20th century, from 1900 to 1950-from the Victorian Age to the Atomic Age, and the "free association" concept of Freud was considered to be the greatest for that period of time (Commager, 1949). Today, around the world psychoanalysis based on Second Force Psychology serves as the basis for treatment of psychiatric disorders and mentally sick people (Taylor, 1962).

Cognitive Dissonance

It was Leon Festinger of Stanford University (1957) who introduced "Cognitive Dissonance" as a substitute for "Free Association" and defined it as "feelings of unpleasantness" which an individual possesses lying deep in the unconscious, and where the individual seldom if ever realizes the reasons for such feelings. The Cognitive Dissonance Test (DISS) (Cassel, et.al, 2001b) was developed based on the Festinger theory to serve as a means for helping individuals discover the areas and nature of cognitive dissonance" typically lying deep in the unconscious; so that on a conscious level they might help to plan for ways to eliminate such hurts. The DISS test is comprised of 200 true/false type items that are distributed with 25 in each of the eight part scores. One item, for example reads "Is your home warm and friendly?" If the answer is "Yes," then there is no "Cognitive Dissonance" present, but if the answer is "No," then there is clear evidence of "cognitive dissonance" being present. Four of the eight part scores are included within the Internal and Personal areas of life; while the other four are included in the External and Impersonal areas of one's life space. A Discerning Score (LIE) is included to insure that the items are really read, and/or understood:

I. Internal & Personal:        II. External & Impersonal:

   1. Home & Family - HOM          5. School & Learning - SCH
   2. Inner Development-INN        6. Social Affiliation-SOC
   3. Personal Adjustment-PER      7. Survival & Power-SUR
   4. Health & Well-being-HEA      8. Life Pursuits-LIF
      Part I Total - IPTOT            Part II Total - EITOT

                    DISS Total Score - DISTOT

                       Discerning Score-LIE

Juvenile Delinquents and Prison Inmates

The Cognitive Dissonance Test (DISS) (Cassel, et.al., 2001a), and The Hall-Marks for Success in a Democracy Test (DEMO) (Cassel, 2001b) were administered to a number of Juvenile Delinquent Boys and Girls, but only the DEMO test was administered to the male prison inmates (Cassel, et.al., 2001c, 2001d, 2001e, 2001f, and 2001g). When the DISS scores were compared to Typical high school students for the Delinquent groups, statistically different Part and Total Scores were obtained suggesting that much higher levels of "Cognitive Dissonance" is present for the Delinquents than for the Typical Individuals. Since the Male Prison Inmates Hall-Marks for Success scores were low like the Delinquency Boys and Girls, we assume that their DISS scores would be high just like that for the delinquents, if they had taken the DISS test. …

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