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Reactance Theory

Abstract

People believe they possess certain freedoms. When these freedoms are threatened, psychological reactance emerges – a motivational state directed toward restoring or securing the freedom. The current chapter discusses the construct of reactance by addressing its measurements, its determinants, and studies investigating reactance in the applied context. Most importantly, by pointing out that reactance is not just a reflexive reaction to freedom threats but rather a beneficial reaction playing a key role in understanding one’s self, the chapter elaborates on the value of reactance for people’s lives.

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Mühlberger, C., Jonas, E. (2019). Reactance Theory. In: Sassenberg, K., Vliek, M.L.W. (eds) Social Psychology in Action. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-13788-5_6

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