New Directions in Reactance Research

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Edited by: Sandra Sittenthaler, Eva Jonas, Eva Traut-Mattausch, Jeff Greenberg

Series: Zeitschrift für Psychologie - Volume 26

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New insightful theory and research concerning reactance processes

Psychological reactance theory, formulated by Jack Brehm in 1966, is one of the most popular social psychological theories explaining how people respond to threats to their free behaviors and has attracted attention in both basic and applied research in areas such as health, marketing, politics, and education. A review article published 40 years later by Miron and Brehm pointed out several research gaps. That article inspired the editors to develop this special issue in order to present recent research and developments in reactance theory that both offer new knowledge and illuminate issues still in need of resolution.

Topics covered include:
- Reactance theory in association with guilt appeals
- Tests to study the relationship between fear and psychological reactance
- The influence of threat to group identity and its associated values and norms on reactance
- Benefit of reactance research in health psychology campaigns
- Construction and empirical validation of an instrument for measuring state reactance (Salzburger State Reactance Scale)
- Motivation intensity theory and its implications for how reactance motives should convert into effortful goal pursuit

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