The publication in 1962 of Explorations in cognitive dissonance was the culmination of five years of joint research between Arthur R. Cohen and myself, and it was an attempt to assess the status of dissonance theory after the initial research results were in. We felt that the theory had considerable potential for the understanding of behavior, and we wanted to stimulate further work. Explorations did, no doubt, act as such a stimulus, but there was no way for us to foresee the almost incredible amount of research that was to be generated by dissonance theory during the ensuing dozen years. A revision of Explorations would have been appropriate within a few years of its publication. Unfortunately, however, there was no chance for us to do a normal revision because of Bob Cohen's untimely death in 1963.
Had he lived, Bob would certainly have been the prime mover of this latest attempt to assess dissonance theory, and the evaluation would have benefitted greatly from his insight and scholarship. It stands as a tribute to his brilliance that his research on dissonance theory remains an important part of the literature and continues to be widely referenced. Though much has happened since his death, his contributions live on both through the research that he did and through his part in the writing of Explorations, from which we have borrowed freely in the present volume. In recognition of those contributions, both explicit and implicit, and in recognition of Bob's place as one of the outstanding social psychologists of his time, my coauthor, Robert Wicklund, joins me in dedicating this book to the memory of Arthur R. Cohen.
JACK W. BREHM