Understanding psychological reactance: New developments and findings

Christina Steindl, Eva Jonas, Sandra Sittenthaler, Eva Traut-Mattausch, Jeff Greenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

131 Scopus citations


Since Brehm first proposed reactance theory in 1966, many studies have explored the remarkable psychological phenomenon of reactance, which Miron and Brehm reviewed in 2006. We present an overview of research that has been done since then. A variety of studies have provided interesting new insights into the theory, adding to what is known about the phenomenon of reactance and the processes activated when people are confronted with threats to their freedom. Nevertheless, many issues that have not been clarified remain to be examined. We therefore close with proposing some suggestions for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)205-214
Number of pages10
JournalZeitschrift fur Psychologie / Journal of Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2015


  • (vicarious) reactance
  • Culture
  • Dual process
  • Motivation
  • Persuasion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)


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