A skeptical look at dispositional reactance.

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Paul Silvia, Assistant Professor (Creator)
Institution
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: Many studies have correlated dispositional reactance scales with other self-report scales, but no experiments have tested whether ?trait reactance? replicates ?state reactance? effects. Using a conventional reactance paradigm, an experiment examined the construct validity of dispositional reactance. College students (n = 78) read a communication that did or did not threaten their freedom to disagree, and then they reported their agreement. Threatening attitudinal freedom increased disagreement, thus replicating many reactance experiments. Dispositional reactance interacted with threats to freedom, but in a manner contrary to the construct’s predictions—?high reactance? people were more likely to agree with a pushy, coercive message. The findings question the construct validity of dispositional reactance.

Additional Information

Publication
Personality and Individual Differences, 40, 1291-1297
Language: English
Date: 2006
Keywords
Reactance, Persuasion, Resistance, Attitudes, Individual differences