THE EFFECT OF SELF-CONFRONTATION INSTRUCTION ON STUDENTS' VALUE PRIORITIES AND ATTITUDE TOWARD WAR AND PEACE

PHILOMENA AHN-JA FISCHER, Fordham University

Abstract

This study investigated two specific areas of research based on Rokeach's (1971) theory of the human belief system: (1) a relation between attitude toward war and peace and a cluster of values, (2) self-dissatisfaction as a determinant for a change in value priorities, attitude toward war and peace, and social behavior.^ A preliminary survey showed that a world at peace, respect for human life, and equality were highly correlated with a peace-oriented attitude.^ Three intact 10th-grade and three 12th-grade classes from middle-low socioeconomic status (SES) were selected for the main experiment. One class in each of the two grades was then randomly assigned to a self-confrontation group (who was asked to compare their own value priorities with those of a reference group), to a knowledge group (who was shown slides about the nuclear arms race), or to a control group. A total of 117 students (51 boys and 66 girls) participated in the experiment. Fifteen 12th-grade girls from upper SES were also given self-confrontation instruction.^ Before the experiment, two questionnaires, Value Survey and Views of War and Peace, were administered. Eight weeks later, the two questionnaires were readministered, and another four weeks later, a solicitation letter was distributed.^ The differences in value priorities among the three treatment groups were analyzed by a median test, attitude toward war and peace by one-way analysis of variance, and social behavior by a chi-square test. Interaction effects among treatment, grade, and sex on attitude were investigated by three-way analysis of variance.^ The principal finding of this study was the students' SES and grade were determining factors for the direction of change in value priorities and attitude toward war and peace. Upper SES students became more peace-oriented, whereas middle-low SES students shifted to a more war-oriented attitude. There was no main effect of self-confrontation instruction. However, the basic assumption of this study was supported, namely that those who felt self-dissatisfied with their value priorities shifted, in one direction or the other.^ The middle-low SES students' negative perception of the reference group in self-confrontation instruction (peace educators) apparently led to a more war-oriented attitude after the experiment. ^

Subject Area

Educational psychology

Recommended Citation

FISCHER, PHILOMENA AHN-JA, "THE EFFECT OF SELF-CONFRONTATION INSTRUCTION ON STUDENTS' VALUE PRIORITIES AND ATTITUDE TOWARD WAR AND PEACE" (1984). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8409256.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8409256

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