Psychological Resistance

A persuasive attempt may also induce consistency concerns (Petty et al., 2004), i.e., a fear that changing a behavior or opinion will lead to inconsistencies with prior beliefs or behaviors. People are unwilling toward the possibility that persuasive information may challenge an important belief. Reasons that may make people reluctant toward change include the desire to not lose something of value, believing that the proposed change does not make sense, perceiving greater risks than benefits, and being satisfied with the current situation (Hultman, 1995; Kotter and Schlesinger, 2008). Finally, future research should continue to broaden our understanding of reactance not only as an aversive state antithetical to persuasion, but also as a strategy for empowerment. In their campaign messages, the truth® campaign focuses on painting “big tobacco” as a manipulative entity attempting to circumvent teenagers’ choices and freedoms through lies and deception.

Due to this rather disconnected nature of previous work on resistance toward persuasion, we emphasize that we do not claim to provide an exhaustive review of the literature. However, we do propose a preliminary framework that organizes available resistance strategies and motivational factors that explain why people resist and when particular resistance strategies are adopted. First, we review and make a first attempt to synthesize existing literature on resistance. This offers an overview of the strategies that people use to resist unwanted persuasion.

Avoidance Strategies

It is important to recognize that our inherent complex resistance to losing weight can contribute to a lack of motivation when we begin a new exercise regimen or diet. By making ourselves commit to certain behaviors, we may increase our chances of success. Fleig and colleagues also suggested that frequent exercise and conscious action planning are involved in making an exercise habit stick.

  • In many situations, the psychological identity’s instinct to survive is more forceful than the biological instinct.
  • There is, however, another point of view which you may take up in order to understand the psychoanalytic method.
  • Extending these findings to an adult population, Quick et al. demonstrated that trait reactance had both a direct and indirect effect on individuals support for indoor air policies.
  • Specifically, the ability of Dillard and Shen’s measure of reactance to explain greater variance in attitude, reactance motivation, and source appraisals compared to Lindsey’s scale.

Recently, Xu and Wyer demonstrated that it is possible to induce a “bolstering mindset” and that the process of generating affirmative thoughts about one subject may trigger attitude bolstering about other topics. Future research in this area could use this framework when investigating resistance. The propositions of the framework about the links between the underlying resistance motives and the use of resistance strategies must be empirically tested. Doing so first requires the development of measures to capture the different resistance motives. Some useful scales have already been developed for the threat to freedom motive (e.g., Dillard and Shen, 2005), while others have not yet been operationalized.

“psychological Resistance”

Self-esteem, status, and social and financial stability are usually embedded in a prevailing worldview. The established healthcare paradigm, like paradigms in general, is reluctant to give up its leadership and influence. To shift this established worldview affects millions of people and billions of pounds of resources.

Interestingly, high sensation value messages with high controlling language consistently aroused the most state anger, suggesting high sensation value messages may be particularly likely to arouse reactance when controlling language is used. However, Xu’s study assessed only the affective component of reactance (i.e., state anger) but not the cognitive component (i.e., counterarguing). Changing people’s attitudes and behavior is often a difficult process because people are naturally motivated to retain their existing beliefs and behavior. Change involves going from the known to the unknown and implies a loss of control over one’s situation, which has been identified as a primary cause for resistance . A reluctance to change may be caused by an unwillingness to change, but also by a desire to stay the same.

The Strategies And Motives For Resistance To Persuasion Smrp Framework

Third, concerns of deception are hypothesized to relate to the adoption of contesting strategies. Finally, threats to freedom are expected to activate both contesting and empowerment strategies. In addition to contesting content, individuals may contest the source of a message. This behavior has been referred to as source derogation, and involves dismissing the credibility of sources or questioning their expertise or trustworthiness (Abelson and Miller, 1967; Zuwerink Jacks and Cameron, 2003). In earlier research on persuasion, source derogation was perceived as a communication strategy that could be used to reduce or counter the effect of persuasion attempts (e.g., Anderson, 1967).

Psychological Therapies For Treatment

Consequently it may be better understood as a dramatic transformational process involving psychological death and birth, rather than the simple acquisition of some self-care techniques. Therefore practitioners may require particular skills when they seek to guide their clients. In a persuasive context, one may be skeptical of the literal truth of message claims, the motives of the sender, the value of the information, the appropriateness of the message for a specific audience (e.g., children) or specific products (e.g., alcohol; Obermiller and Spangenberg, 1998). A positive relationship between skepticism and concerns of deception is therefore expected.

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Recent research has demonstrated that the reactance is best measured as an amalgam of anger and negative cognitions (Dillard and Shen, 2005; Quick, 2012; Rains, 2013), preceded by a freedom threat . Reluctance to change may also induce biased processing strategies including weighting information and reducing impact because people are likely to experience dissonance when confronted with information that is inconsistent with their beliefs, attitudes, or behavior . Hence, when trying to maintain the status quo, people are prone to distorting incoming information such that inconsistent information is dismissed or devalued, and consist information is valued as more important.

State And Trait Resistance Situational And Characteristic

Resistance shows up as oppositional behavior that keeps you from reaching your highest potential. Patterson’s suggested intervention of struggle with and work through is often contrasted as an intervention with motivational interviewing. In motivational interviewing the therapist makes no attempt to prompt the client back to the problem area but reinforces the occurrence when it comes up as opposed to struggle with and working through where the therapist directly guides the client back to the problem.

Mental Health

They may yawn or stare blankly during sessions, not engaging in therapy at all. This feeling of boredom can be a cover for intense feelings that are difficult to accept or deal with. It may sound counterintuitive, but people often resist therapy by becoming dependent on their therapist. Instead of facing their problems directly, they leave all the decisions to the therapist.

Frontiers In Communication

This glue that normally binds people into their everyday sense of identity their culture, gender, sexuality, religion, nationality, career, politics is so powerful that people aggressively defend it, attack competitors and will die for it. In many situations, the psychological identity’s instinct to survive is more forceful than the biological instinct. From suicidal political and religious activists through to the men and women who sing marching into war, there is ample evidence that people would often rather die than surrender their cultural personality. By its very nature of being embedded in culture, society and psychology, a prevailing paradigm resists a new one.