Cognitive dissonance theory and adolescent short-term mission methodology
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The research study was an examination of the perceived use of practices in keeping with cognitive dissonance stimulation and alleviation, as a currently-advocated adolescent short-term mission methodology. Special attention was given to the current perceptions and emphases of youth ministry practitioners and mission sending agency personnel. The initial chapter offered a summation of, and the backing for, the research problem, while also offering key terms, delimitations, population and research sample. The review of precedent literature offered both the theological foundation for the subject matter, followed by the ideological literature base in the areas of cognitive dissonance theory, parallel critical-pedagogical theories, youth ministry educational approach, short-term mission approach and contemporary research dealing with adolescent short-term missions. The concepts uncovered in the literature review guided the formulation of the research design and instrumentation. The elements included in the outline of the research design and procedural processes were as follows: outline of the design; population; sample; instrumentation and procedural outline. The research then offered the data analysis and the conclusions of the research. Conclusions reached, based upon the research findings, included several realizations. First, each of the sample groups offered some material related to seven of the eight dissonance tenets researched; however, the employment of dissonance tenets, among the sample groups researched, was minimal, in most categories. Second, the area of challenge and critical thinking orientation did, however, emerge as the most frequently included and emphasized concept. Third, the rate of frequency and emphasis assigned to the youth ministry professional sample group was consistently higher than that of the sending agency personnel sources, which indicated that, among the groups researched, the more explicit and full expression of dissonance-related methods and ideas was maintained by the youth ministry professionals. Keywords. Adolescent, cognitive dissonance theory, critical thinking, mission sending agency, short-term mission, youth ministry