Cognitive Dissonance Theory

for slave training

The following explains how changing a slave’s behavior and resistance to change often collide in training  and why a slave changes behavior.

Cognitive dissonance says that  “when a slave’s attitude conflicts with other personal beliefs or the behavior her Master requires, it causes a mental discomfort (conflict and or resistance).   This motivates her to change either her attitude or behavior to reduce dissonance.”

A Master controls the slave’s behavior therefore her attitude must be changed in order to reduce the mental conflict.   she is “helpless” to change her behavior because it is determined by her Master.  She has given her Master the “legitimate power” to control her behavior therefore her only option is changing her attitude.  However,  resistance to the change is to be expected.

The term “helpless” means that she is helpless to change her behavior and still maintain her slavery (upholding the contract with her Master and pleasing him).  Yes, she could change her behavior to one that is not what her Master’s wishes but that would be outside of her slavery.

Her behavior is determined by her Master and her attitude changes to reflect that behavior, if

1) a Master’s “legitimate power”  (see below) is well established and strong,

2) the slave believes her Master has the skills necessary to train her (expert power), and

3) she has a sense or desires a sense of belonging to her Master (reverent power).

If the above exist, then reward and coercive power can be used to change behavior and overcome resistance. See the section  Interpersonal Forms of Power  for more detail.