When prophecy fails


Bibliographic Information

When prophecy fails

Leon Festinger, Henry W. Riecken, Stanley Schachter ; foreword by Elliot Aronson

Pinter & Martin, 2008

  • : pbk

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Previous ed.: Minneapolis, Minn.: University of Minnesota Press, 1956

Includes index

Description and Table of Contents


In 1954 Leon Festinger, a brilliant young experimental social psychologist in the process of inventing a new theory of human behavior - the theory of cognitive dissonance - and two of his colleagues, Henry Riecken and Stanley Schachter, infiltrated a cult who believed the end of the world was only months away. How would these people feel when their prophecy remained unfulfilled? Would they admit the error of their prediction, or would they, as Festinger predicted, readjust their reality to make sense of the new circumstances? Not only is When Prophecy Fails of great historical importance as the first test of a powerful theory, but it is also a surprisingly touching account of what happens to ordinary people under extraordinary circumstances.

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  • NCID
  • ISBN
    • 9781905177196
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  • Pages/Volumes
    xi, 257 p.
  • Size
    20 cm
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