Reactance, autonomy and the paths to persuasion: examining perceptions of threats to freedom and informational value.

Pavey, Louisa and Sparks, Paul (2009) Reactance, autonomy and the paths to persuasion: examining perceptions of threats to freedom and informational value. Motivation and Emotion, 33 (3). pp. 277-290. ISSN 0146-7239

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Abstract

Autonomy, often associated with an open and reflective evaluation of experience, is sometimes confused with reactance, which indicates resistance to persuasion attempts. Two studies examined a path model in which autonomy and reactance predicted motivation following the provision of anonymous or source-identified health-risk information, via the mediation of perceived threat to decision-making freedom and of perceived informational value. Study 1 (N = 122) investigated alcohol consumption. The results showed that autonomy was positively related to autonomous motivation and intentions to drink responsibly. Reactance negatively predicted autonomous motivation in the source-identified information condition but positively predicted autonomous motivation and intentions in the anonymous information condition. Reactance negatively predicted attitudes through the mediation of perceived threat to decision-making freedom. Study 2 (N = 145) tested our hypothesized model for smoking behavior and replicated several of the Study 1 findings. Implications for our understanding of autonomy, reactance, and responses to risk-information are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Depositing User: Louisa Jane Pavey
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 15:35
Last Modified: 13 Mar 2012 14:11
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/13423
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