A 50-Year Review of Psychological Reactance Theory: Do Not Read This Article

  title={A 50-Year Review of Psychological Reactance Theory: Do Not Read This Article},
  author={Benjamin D. Rosenberg and Jason T. Siegel},
  journal={Motivation Science},
Psychological reactance theory (PRT; Brehm, 1966) posits that when something threatens or eliminates people’s freedom of behavior, they experience psychological reactance, a motivational state that drives freedom restoration. Complementing recent, discipline-specific reviews (e.g., Quick, Shen, & Dillard, 2013; Steindl, Jonas, Sittenthaler, Traut-Mattausch, & Greenberg, 2015), the current analysis integrates PRT research across fields in which it has flourished: social psychology and clinical… 
A Comparison of Three Approaches for Measuring Negative Cognitions for Psychological Reactance
ABSTRACT Psychological reactance, routinely operationalized as a latent construct comprised of anger and negative cognitions, represents an aversive state following a threatened or eliminated
Therapeutic reactance in adolescents: the psychometrics of the Therapeutic Reactance Scale in adolescents
This study demonstrates that the TRS is a suitable and potentially useful tool for measuring reactance in adolescents, but the authors propose that practitioners may wish to consider excluding items pertaining to the SI dimension.
The Impact of Behavioral Topic on Psychological Reactance: Arousal and Freedom Restoration
ABSTRACT Psychological reactance theory (PRT) proposes that the importance of freedom, along with threat to freedom and receiver personality trait, impacts the arousal of psychological reactance and
On the psychophysiological and defensive nature of psychological reactance theory
This study incorporated the dual-motivational theory with psychological reactance theory to investigate the cognitive and emotional responses that unfold when audience members encounter a
Sixty Years After Orne's American Psychologist Article: A Conceptual Framework for Subjective Experiences Elicited by Demand Characteristics.
  • O. Corneille, P. Lush
  • Psychology
    Personality and social psychology review : an official journal of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc
  • 2022
Study participants form beliefs based on cues present in a testing situation (demand characteristics). These beliefs can alter study outcomes (demand effects). Neglecting demand effects can threaten
Reactance and personality: assessing psychological reactance using a biopsychosocial and person-centered approach
Reactance is a critical concept for understanding adolescents’ noncompliance and resistance to behavioral change. Traditionally, reactance has been conceptualized as a state comprising negative
Scale Development and Validation for Psychological Reactance to Health Promotion Messages
According to the psychological reactance theory, psychological reactance is strongly associated with many adverse outcomes of health promotion messages. This is particularly pertinent when health
Threatening uncertainty and psychological reactance: are freedom threats always noxious?
Psychological reactance theory posits that when people are faced with threats to, or elimination of, behavioral freedom, they experience an aversive motivational state (i.e., psychological
The factorial structure of the Hong Psychological Reactance Scale in two Finnish samples
Abstract Psychological assessment scales need to be psychometrically sound, but previous research on the factorial structure of one of the most common measures of trait reactance, the Hong


The Nature of Psychological Reactance Revisited: A Meta‐Analytic Review
Psychological reactance (Brehm, 1966; Brehm & Brehm, 1981) has been a long-standing topic of interest among scholars studying the design and effects of persuasive messages and campaigns. Yet, until
Conversion of reactance motives into effortful goal pursuit: Implications of Brehm’s theory of motivation intensity.
Abstract. As originally formulated, Brehm’s theory of psychological reactance posited two manifestations of reactance, (1) an increased desire to exercise the threaten freedom, and (2) an increased
Explaining Self and Vicarious Reactance
A process model explaining the emotional and cognitive processes of self- and vicarious reactance is proposed, which shows that self-restrictions aroused more emotional thoughts than vicarious restrictions, which induced more cognitive responses.
Psychological Reactance and Promotional Health Messages: The Effects of Controlling Language, Lexical Concreteness, and the Restoration of Freedom
Recent social influence research utilizing psychological reactance theory (J. W. Brehm, 1966) has focused on how reactance motivates message rejection due to threats to perceived freedoms posed by
Toward an Integrative Theory of Psychological Defense
  • J. Hart
  • Psychology
    Perspectives on psychological science : a journal of the Association for Psychological Science
  • 2014
A cross-section of defensiveness theories and research is examined, highlighting conclusions that can be drawn and areas where conceptual and research problems linger and suggesting that the field needs methodological innovation.
Evaluating the Factor Structure and Internal Consistency Reliability of the Therapeutic Reactance Scale
Over the last decade, the construct of psychological reactance has been receiving increased attention in the area of counseling process and outcome (Bischoff, 1997; Dodds & Dowd, 1997; March, 1993;
On the Nature of Reactance and its Role in Persuasive Health Communication
Reactance theory might be profitably applied to understanding failures in persuasive health communication but for one drawback: The developer of the theory contends that reactance cannot be measured.
Psychometric Properties of the Hong Psychological Reactance Scale
The Hong Psychological Reactance Scale was developed to measure the individual difference in reactance proneness, that is, a person's trait propensity to experience psychological reactance, and the relationships between the second-order factor and the message outcome variables provided evidence of the validity of the scale.
Stress: Appraisal and Coping
Here is a monumental work that continues in the tradition pioneered by co-author Richard Lazarus in his classic book Psychological Stress and the Coping Process. Dr. Lazarus and his collaborator, Dr.