What Reasons Might the Other One Have?—Perspective Taking to Reduce Psychological Reactance in Individualists and Collectivists


Previous research has demonstrated a considerable amount of negative consequences resulting from psychological reactance. The purpose of this study was to explore opportunities to reduce the amount of reactance. Using the method of perspective taking as an intervention, the current study of 196 Austrians and 198 Filipinos examined whether reactance could be reduced and whether individualists and collectivists differ concerning reactance and their perspective taking abilities. Our results indicated that participants who took the perspective of the person who threatened them experienced less reactance than participants who did not take this approach. This was the case for people from both cultural backgrounds. Nevertheless, comparisons among the two cultural groups yielded different reactions to restrictions. This indicates that individualists are more sensitive to a self-experienced restriction than collectivists, but less sensitive to a restriction of another person. Consequently, we consider culture to be a crucial determinant in predicting the amount of reactance.

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Steindl, C. & Jonas, E. (2012). What Reasons Might the Other One Have?—Perspective Taking to Reduce Psychological Reactance in Individualists and Collectivists. Psychology, 3, 1153-1160. doi: 10.4236/psych.2012.312A170.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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