and (c) changing attitudes toward the various alternatives, particularly reevaluating more favorably the threatened or eliminated alternative.
The approach to attitudes and persuasion that we surveyed in this chapter focuses on the different human motives as they relate to attitude change. The need or desire to maintain cognitive consistency, or what people consider to be "logical" consistency among their beliefs (i.e., psycho-logic), is addressed by balance and congruity theories of attitude change. The attitudinal effects of the drive to maintain cognitive consistency between pairs of elements, such as between one's attitude and one's behavior, is the focus of cognitive dissonance theory. Dissonance theory is especially intriguing because it correctly predicts that, in certain specifiable instances, our attitudes will change the less our newly expressed attitudinal positions are associated with rewards. Another consistency theory of sorts, impression management theory, details how our attitudes are influenced by the desire to maintain a consistency in social behaviors (including attitude expressions) across situations. Finally, psychological reactance theory outlines the effects of threatening or eliminating our freedom to choose freely how to think, feel, and act. Although the research that we have reviewed in this chapter clearly shows that there is utility in viewing some attitude changes as being influenced by strong motivational forces, we shall find in the next chapter that other attitude changes can be viewed as resulting from a cool, detached analysis of the persuasion situation.