What is the opposite of inductive reactance

Reactance in Marketing. A psychological phenomenon

Table of Contents

I. introduction
1. aims
2. construction

II. Theoretical part
1. Psychological reactance
1.1 Types of reactance
2. Reactance in Marketing
2.1 Experiment by Fitzmanns and Lehmann
2.2 Experiment by Wicklund, Slatum and Solomon

III. Empirical part
1. Introduction to empiricism
2. method
2.1 Description of the sample
2.2 Data Collection Method
2.3 Implementation
2.4 Study design

IV. Interpretation of the results
1. Reactance behavior of the target group
2. Resolved reaction of the target group

V. bibliography

VI. attachment
1. Guide structure
2. Table: respondents and personal information

List of figures and tables

Figure 1: Experiments 1-3. Granola bar stimuli

Figure 2: Criteria for a male sample

Table 1: Sample questions for guidelines

Figure 3: Deductive category system

Table 2: Definition of anchor examples for deductive categories

Table 3: Inductive categorization

Figure 4: further categories

Figure 5: Charts - Frequency of Reactance Behavior Stories

Figure 6: Charts - Frequency of Stories with Different Reactions

I. Introduction

The theme of this work relates to the phenomenon of psychological reactance and its impact on the target group of men between the ages of 41 and 60 when they experience reactance.

The concept of reactance was first researched in the sixties by Jack William Brehm. Reactance can be described as behavior similar to that of a child's defiant behavior. This means that whenever individuals feel restricted in their freedom to decide for themselves, reactance can arise. Individuals assume that they have freedom of action or choice in certain situations. If this perceived freedom is restricted or even threatened by external influences, the individual is motivated to restore his or her scope for freedom through his or her subjective reaction. First and foremost, this means that individuals who experience reactance have the primary goal of being able to freely dispose of their own perceived scope for freedom again and are not restricted in their freedom by external factors. Reactance can only occur when individuals assume that they have freedom to decide in certain situations.

As we live in a time when individuals are free to choose, the phenomenon of reactance becomes more and more interesting. In addition, we live in the free market economy and individual individuals feel a great need for freedom with regard to their subjective needs. If their freedom needs are restricted, the phenomenon of reactance can arise. Consequently, in individuals with high degrees of freedom, the reactance is much stronger than in individuals with fewer degrees of freedom. These reactions to the experienced reactance can be different. An individual's behavior to reactance can be physical or psychological. Furthermore, one can differentiate between direct and indirect reactions. The reactions to reactance will be discussed in more detail in the next section in the theoretical part.

The phenomenon of reactance can occur in all possible areas of life. Thus, reactance can occur at work, in the purchase decision process, while eating in a restaurant, at the hairdresser's, in healthcare, in private life, and so on. Reactance arises when people believe that in certain situations they can make decisions for themselves and freely. An example of this could be an overactive salesperson. For example, the seller has the goal of selling a certain product to the customer. The seller is very pushy and aggressive with the customer. The customer is already looking at this product and appears to be interested in it. The seller tries very hard to make this particular product as interesting and advantageous as possible for the customer. The customer, however, already feels pressure from the active seller and he already feels a certain threat to be able to decide for himself whether he finds this product interesting and wants to have it. He feels that the seller has gone too far with the product recommendation and feels a certain annoyance arise. In doing so, he thinks that he actually finds the product interesting, but the seller has to be too pushy to sell the product that the customer decides against the product and in favor of another product. Based on this example, it can be seen that people may find out that they act in the opposite direction to what they intended because of overly intrusive sales methods or product recommendations.

Naturally, individuals react differently to the reactance they experience. Some individuals feel frustrated, others generally have an aversion to well-intentioned advice or recommendations, and others find prohibitions interesting and exciting, doing the opposite of prohibitions as they are attracted to prohibited things, etc.

1. Goals

As already mentioned above, the theory of reactance basically deals with the restoration of the subjective scope for freedom. The aim of this work is to explore the phenomenon of reactance through the acquisition of theoretical knowledge, the subject of research. As a result, further data was collected with the implementation of qualitative empirical methods in the form of interviews. The purpose is to make new contributions in connection with the phenomenon of reactance for the field of marketing.

2. Construction

The seminar paper is structured in five chapters. In the first part, the topic of the work is brought closer. The second part contains the theoretical frame of reference on the phenomenon of reactance. The purpose of this section is to provide a professional understanding. Consequently, the empirical investigation is described in more detail in the next chapter. Basically, the procedure of the data collection and evaluation methods is discussed in more detail. Eighteen interviews with men between the ages of 41 and 60 were carried out as a method of investigation, and 30 stories of experiences with experienced reactance were used. In the fourth chapter of the thesis, the evaluation of the collected data is described in more detail in the form of diagrams and the interpretation of the collected results. As a result, the theoretical part is merged with the empirical part and a conclusion is drawn from the derived results.

Finally, the bibliography, the appendix and the affidavit are given.

II. Theoretical part

1. Psychological reactance theory

"Psychological reactance is given that a person has a set of free behaviors, he will experience reactance whenever any of those behaviors is eliminated or threatened with elimination"1.

The term psychological reactance was first introduced by Jack in 1966. W. Brehm (see Crow L., 2017, p.17). The above definition is intended to illustrate that individuals have a number of freedom needs (see Crow L., 2017, p. 17). When these needs for freedom are suppressed or threatened, the phenomenon of psychological reactance occurs. The reactance is the state of motivation to restore the threatened freedom. The higher a person's freedom of thought, the stronger the reactance. Through the behavior that is triggered by the reactance, the individuals try to react to the influence on freedom in order to free themselves from the influence again (see Crow L., 2017, p.17). Reactions to the reactance can lead to small negative effects, such as excitement of the emotional state and resistance, or even to the rejection of a product (cf. Brehm & Brehm, 1981, p. 109ff). In addition, reactance, the actual intention of the person who triggers the reactance, can have the opposite effect. An example of this could be a sales consultant who wants to bring a product closer to a customer and the customer may feel that his or her freedom of choice is impaired as a result (see Fitzmanns & Lehmann, 2004, p. 82- 94).

The psychological reactance thus takes place through influencing the freedom of an individual. This phenomenon of reactance aims at the restoration of the freedom of freedom of an individual through certain reactions of the individual individuals.

Reactance can often be observed in the purchase decision process, as consumers have freedom in their decisions. The consumer has the option of choosing between different products. However, when the possibility of alternatives is restricted or threatened, reactance can arise.

However, the phenomenon of psychological reactance does not occur exclusively in the field of commerce or marketing. The motivation for reactance can appear anywhere as long as individuals believe that they have freedom in their decisions. For example, reactance can also occur in the private sector, such as the prohibition to pursue a certain hobby. Or stopping a love affair between two people, as in Shakespeare's most famous work in Romeo and Juliet. These reactions to reactance can also be illustrated like the defiant behavior of a child (cf. Niedermaier S., 2008, p. 4).

1.1 Types of reactions

The phenomenon of reactance can occur through various reactions. These reactions can be physical, like the active behavior of a person, and they can be psychological (see Crow L., 2017, p. 26f). A physical reaction can be direct or indirect. Direct physical reactions can be shown aggressions or excitement, for example, how the actual behavior of a person corresponds to the respective situation (see Crow L., 2017, p. 26f). Such behavior is observable. Another example of a direct physical reaction could be when the consumer chooses one of two products. Physical reactions can also be indirect, such as when other people are made aware of the threat to their freedom of action (cf. Brehm & Brehm, 1981, pp. 98-117). An example of this could be that the person makes a negative report to acquaintances (see Crow L., 2017, p. 28). Psychological reactions, on the other hand, are more difficult to observe. The psychological response to reactance can be on a person's cognitive, thought, affective or emotional level, or both. These reactions to the experienced reactance can consequently only arise if the individuals are aware of their freedom and perceive a threat to freedom and this animates the motivation to restore their own scope for freedom. The possibilities of reacting to the psychological reactance can therefore be direct, indirect or psychological. In restoring freedom, the direct reaction is offered as the most effective (cf. Brehm & Brehm, 1981, pp. 98-117).

2. Reactance in Marketing

2.1 Experiment by Fitzmanns and Lehmann

There are several researches in the literature that have examined the phenomenon of reactance. One of the most relevant studies in the field of marketing was carried out by Fitzmanns and Lehmann. With the help of the investigation of product recommendations it was found that such recommendations can lead to reactance and can have an effect on customer satisfaction (cf. Fitzmanns & Lehmann, 2004). Fitzmanns and Lehmann (2004) carried out a total of four experiments.

Experiment 1 illustrates the behavior of customers associated with reactance and what effects this can have if the recommendations of the sales staff contradict customer attitudes (cf. Fitzmanns & Lehmann, 2004, p. 86). Research examines both positive recommendations for less attractive products and negative recommendations for more attractive products. The degree of trustworthiness also varies. 130 students from the University of Pennsylvania participated. The participants registered for the experiment and completed a written questionnaire. There were a total of three influencing factors: these were positive or negative recommendations; then having the necessary specialist knowledge in the area of ​​the source of the recommendation and the attractiveness of the product.

The first page of the questionnaire contains basic instructions and the cover story about the development of the new granola bar. The opinions and impressions of the participants were asked. On the next page of the questionnaire, four recipes for the muesli bar were given with descriptions. The recipes were distinguished from one another with three properties: 2 relevant ones, such as the amount of calories and taste, rated from 1 to 10, where 1 is defined as completely tasteless and 10 with very good taste. The third property was that the service life was assessed as being less important for research. Then the participants should choose one of the four possible recipes (cf. Fitzmanns & Lehmann, 2004, p. 85).

Recipes were prescribed from the outset (see Figure 1). For example, recipe A with 7.5 in terms of taste and with 125 calories, recipe B with 8 in terms of taste and with 365 calories, recipe C - 9, 220, recipe D - 6, 150. that A and C were formulated as very attractive; while B and D were worded less attractively; C dominates B; A strongly dominates D.

Figure 1: Experiments 1-3. Granola bar stimuli

Figure not included in this excerpt

Source: Fitzmanns / Lehmann (2004, p.85)

On the next page of the questionnaire, each participant received 8 recommendations and was asked: “Which of 4 recipes would you choose? Which and how much of each recipe would you choose if only 3 are allowed? ”. At the end there are additional questions about the knowledge of the granola bars and consumption frequency. Recommendations received from participants are varied in three ways. Recommendations are very attractive (via recipe C) or not attractive (via recipe B), positive or negative and from an expert (magazine Health & Fitness) or non-expert (participant in taste test).

Fitzmanns and Lehmann show in the study that recommendations from experts can lead to reactance (cf. Fitzmanns & Lehmann, 2004, p. 89). The first experiment plays a major role in the whole of the research, as it illustrates that unnecessary product recommendations that conflict with the will of the customer can worsen the image of the product (see Fitzmanns & Lehmann, 2004, p. 86). Reactance can also be triggered in cases where the customer's will and product recommendations from specialists do not match. As a result of the recommendations, the products were selected less and the customers remained unsatisfied. However, when the product recommendations of the specialists correlated positively with the customer's will, both the customer's intention to sell and customer satisfaction increased. However, this was only true when the recommendations were made by specialists or experts. Once a non-expert, such as. A magazine or an acquaintance who made recommendations, these advice and recommendations were not noticed. It should be noted that the reactions to the experienced reactance can vary. Involvement and product value do not play a major role.

2.2 Research by Wicklund, Slattum, and Solomon (1970)

We examined psychological reactance through the article by Wicklund, Slattum, Solomon (1970). The experiment deals with the question of how test persons can be put under pressure during the purchase and this can result in a boomerang effect.

Participants were divided into two research groups consisting of 20 female students. The interview was conducted by an expert who presented as a sales representative from a local sunglasses store. The expert asked the participants to pick up 6 pairs of sunglasses in sequence and then evaluate them. As part of the company's advertising campaign, the expert also asked the test subjects to choose the best of the 6 couples in front of a television camera. The selected couple, which they liked best, can be bought by the participants with a 50% discount.

As mentioned before, there were two conditions in the research and the process was very similar for both groups, except for the so-called '' vested interest "condition, i.e. the expert wanted to influence or manipulate the decisions of the participants in her own interest (cf. . Wicklund, Slattum, Solomon, 1970). The conditions were introduced right before the glasses were tried out. The first condition was: “If you want to buy this pair, I will be happy to handle the order because I deserve a 50% quota for myself.” In the second condition, the saleswoman said: “I won't get anything from it, but I'm glad you did Treat order. "

Because of the dealer’s statement, the students had the feeling that the saleswoman was acting in their own interest, so that the products already seemed less attractive to buyers.The reactance effect is observed in the waiver of the evaluation or lower degree of attractiveness in the case of the person acting in his own interest. The main results of the study are as follows: "The more sales intent is assumed by the seller, the more reactance there is."2

However, the difference between 2 conditions is not distributed equally through all six pairs of sunglasses, i.e. the difference decreases linearly when the sixth pair is reached. In the case of the non-expert, there is basically no noticeable psychological reactance at all, only arises when test subjects perceive freedom of choice.


1 Brehm J. W., 1966, p. 4

2 (Wicklund, Slatum, Solomon, 1970)

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