We thank J. W. Brehm and an anonymous reviewer for helpful comments on an earlier draft of the paper.
Article first published online: 22 FEB 2006
Copyright © 1972 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
European Journal of Social Psychology
Volume 2, Issue 2, pages 177–197, April/June 1972
How to Cite
Dickenberger, D. and Grabitz-Gniech, G. (1972), Restrictive conditions for the occurrence of psychological reactance: Interpersonal attraction, need for social approval, and a delay factor. Eur. J. Soc. Psychol., 2: 177–197. doi: 10.1002/ejsp.2420020206
The authors are listed alphabetically. Requests for reprints should be sent to the senior author: Gisla Grabitz-Gniech, Universität Mannheim. Sozialpsychologie. 68 Mannheim 1, Schloss, Federal Republic of Germany.
- Issue published online: 22 FEB 2006
- Article first published online: 22 FEB 2006
- sonderfor schungsbereich Sozial- und Wirtschaftspsy-chologische Entscheidungsforschung an der senior Universität Mannheim
The purpose of the present experiment was to show that the occurrence of psychological reactance is diminished when a person a) estimates the freedom eliminating source of social influence as highly attractive, and b) shows strong need for social approval and that c) psychological reactance might be stored up when the actual freedom eliminating social influence is too strong. In an experiment with 3 phases female students served as Ss. Two partners (S and stooge) had to decide whether or not to answer an item from a set of everyday questions with two choice alternatives. In the case of a positive decision they had to give their judgments covertly. In the first phase the S decided whether to answer or not; then the stooge urged the S not to answer a special set of questions. In the second phase the stooge announced her decision whether to answer a question or not and she left out the ‘crucial’ items. In the third phase the S answered the items alone since the stooge left the room for a short time having good reasons. The independent variables were interpersonal attraction: high vs. low (manipulated by instruction) and social desirability: high vs. low (measured by median split-half of the scores of a German version of the Marlowe-Crowne-scale). Reactance was measured as the number of answers to the crucial items in phase 3 in relation to the previous phases. The delay effect of psychological reactance was tested by a comparison of answers in phase 2 and 3. The data lent support to the first (attraction) and third (delay) experimental hypotheses stated.