Student Question

How do the terms 'foot in the door', 'just world phenomena', 'cognitive dissonance', and 'group polarization' relate to A Soldier's Play/The Crucible?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Foot in the door: “a persuasion method [in which] the persuader does something small in order to catch the target's interest, before moving on to what he really wants…. refers to the stereotype of a pushy door to door salesman inserting his foot in someone's front door so they become unable to close it and terminate the conversation" (Wikipedia)Just-world phenomenon:  also called the just-world theory, just-world fallacy, just-world effect, or just-world hypothesis, refers to the tendency for people to believe that the world is “just” and so therefore people "get what they deserve." (Wikipedia).

cognitive dissonance theory:  a tendency for individuals to seek consistency among beliefs and opinions, and to eliminate the inconsistency (dissonance) through a change in those beliefs or attititudes.  Educational psychologists understand this state of cognitive dissonance as fundamental to the process of learning.

Group polarization:  after participating in a discussion group, members tend to advocate more extreme positions and call for riskier courses of action than individuals who did not participate in any such discussion.  Example:  attitudes such as as racial prejudice tend to be reduced (for already low-prejudice individuals) and inflated (for already high-prejudice individuals) after group discussion. (Wikipedia)

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial