Overcoming denial and increasing the intention to use condoms through the induction of hypocrisy

Am J Public Health. 1991 Dec;81(12):1636-8. doi: 10.2105/ajph.81.12.1636.


Feelings of hypocrisy were induced in college students to increase condom use. Hypocrisy was created by making subjects mindful of their past failure to use condoms and then having them persuade others about the importance of condoms for AIDS prevention. The induction of hypocrisy decreased denial and led to greater intent to improve condom use relative to the control conditions. The implications of these findings for AIDS prevention are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Cognitive Dissonance*
  • Contraceptive Devices, Male / statistics & numerical data*
  • Denial, Psychological*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Education / methods*
  • Health Education / standards
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motivation
  • Students / psychology*