Reactance Theory

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When reading chapter 9, I was really interested in reactance theory, so I decided to research it some more. I found this great article online that was written by Jack Brehm, the person who came up with the reactance theory.  In the article he explains what reactance theory is:  reactance theory is "that people become motivationally aroused by a threat to or elimination of a behavioral freedom".  In the article he talks about how he was surprised that some people acted negatively even when influence attempts might be in the best interest of that person.  Jack Brehm goes on to tell us that there are two things that come about with reactance.  First, we may try to restore the freedom that has been put in jeapordy.  Second, there may be a perceived attractiveness to the lost or threatened freedom.

Jack Brehm also goes one step further and talks about the implication principle and how it interacts with reactance theory.   He talks about how there are two implications that come about to other freedoms when one freedom has been threatened.  The first implication applies the threat to the same freedom but for future actions.  Second, other freedoms that are similar to the original threat may also be threatened.  He illustrates that if a person believes that one freedom is in danger, what is to stop other freedoms from becoming threatened?  He also talks about how when many freedoms are threatened the person is likely to have a very strong response to stop those threats from taking place.

I really would recommend that everybody read this.  Jack Brehm uses great examples to help illustrate all of his points.  You can find this article at: http://www.acrwebsite.org/volumes/display.asp?id=6883In

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