Thesis

Relationship of long-term accounting commitment to behavior around controversial church issues

This study was designed to investigate the relationship between an integrating mental process, inferred from commitment to three or more years of filing an Accounting of tithable and non-tithable resources, and Ss' integrating or polarizing responses to dissonance-producing issues on a questionnaire designed for this purpose. A review of the literature supported the assumption that dissonance theory could explain “inconsistency-maintaining," or integrating, behavior as well as “inconsistency-reducing”, or polarizing, behavior around dissonant ideas. Four 1 x 2 Chi-square analyses were made of the data based upon the predictions of two hypotheses and in answer to two questions. The frequency of integrating and proportion of high integrating responses were expected to be greater for those who Accounted than for those who did not. No significant relationships were found at the .01 or .05 levels of confidence between the two groups, but all of the trends were in the expected direction. This study was conducted at a quasi-experimental level due to the personal nature of the relationship between the Es and Ss requiring more relaxed controls. Conclusions are limited accordingly. Continued research is needed with larger samplings of the population and greater control of the variables to confirm or disconfirm the trends in the above research.

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