Ben Franklin effect

Ben Franklin Effect

Ben Franklin effect

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The Ben Franklin effect is a psychological finding: A person who has done someone a favor is more likely to do that person another favor than they would be if they had received a favor from that person. Similarly, one who harms another is more willing to harm them again than the victim is to retaliate.

In the words of Benjamin Franklin, who famously observed the effect and for whom it is named, "He that has once done you a Kindness will be more ready to do you another, than he whom you yourself have obliged."From The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, as given in Benjamin Franklin: Writings, ed. J.A. Leo Lemay (NY: Library of America, 1987), p. 1404. ISBN 0-940450-29-1.

This perception of Franklin has been cited as an example within cognitive dissonance theory, which says that people change their attitudes or behavior to resolve tensions, or "dissonance", between their thoughts, attitudes, and actions. In the case of the Ben Franklin effect, the dissonance is between the subject's negative attitudes to the other person and the knowledge that they did that person a favor.Paul Henry Mussen, Mark R. Rosenzweig & Arthur L. Blumenthal (1979). Psychology: an introduction, p.403. University of Michigan. ISBN 0669016721

In his autobiography, Franklin explains how he dealt with the animosity of a rival...
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