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Belief Congruency

Explanation of Theory:
There are a hierarchy of beliefs, attitudes and values. Beliefs are the building blocks of attitudes, so an attitude can be comprised of many beliefs and many attitudes merge to create a value. 

Theorist:  M.Rokeach 

Date: 1965 

Primary Article:
     Rokeach, M. and Rothman G. (1965). The principle of belief congruence and the congruity principle as models of cognitive interaction. Psychological Review, 72, 128-142. 

Metatheoretical Assumptions:

A person has countless beliefs, fewer attitudes and a limited number of true values. The beliefs must be congruent with attitudes they comprise. Beliefs, attitudes and values are interwoven and ranked as a single belief system. 

Scientific Theory 
This theory claims that there is a hierarchy of beliefs, attitudes and values and explains how changes are made in each andpredicts how the change will occur. 

Ideas and Implications: 
Our values, attitudes and belief system can often be looked at as a layer of an onion. The outer layers are much easier to alter than those closer to the center. As we come closer to the center,it is nearly impossible to create a change. Shifts in our attitudes or beliefs may serve as short-term changes of behavior, but only values serve as life guides that dictate a lifelong set of behaviors. 

When any type of company markets a product that is controversial, they have a goal to change the beliefs of the consumer concerning the aspects of their products so that the consumer will purchase the product. They realize that they are not able to change consumer values with a mere advertisement, but they may change a surface belief that could result in a sale. For instance, a candy manufacturer could make the claim that their candy, unlike other candy, is actually healthy and promotes a longer life. The consumer, who previously thought the candy was unhealthy, changes this belief and purchases the candy. There is no change in value, the consumer will still not purchase what is bad for them, but the change in their belief of that specific product creates a change
of action. 

Location in Eight (8) Primary Communication Theory Textbooks:

   Anderson, R., & Ross, V. (1998). Questions of communication: A practical introduction to theory (2nd ed.). New York: St. Martin's Press.  N/A

     Cragan, J. F., & Shields, D.C. (1998). Understanding communication theory: The communicative forces for human action. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon. N/A

     Griffin, E. (2000). A first look at communication theory (4th ed.). Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill. N/A

     Griffin, E. (1997). A first look at communication theory (3rd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill. N/A

      Infante, D. A., Rancer, A. S., & Womack, D. F. (1997). Building communication theory (3rd ed.). Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland Press. p. 27.

      Littlejohn, S. W. (1999). Theories of human communication (6th ed). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. pp. 139.

      West, R., & Turner, L. H. (2000). Introducing communication theory: Analysis and application. Mountain View, CA: Mayfield. N/A

       Wood, J. T. (1997). Communication theories in action: An introduction. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.  N/A