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General scientific definition

"[T]he motivation to regain a freedom after it has been lost or threatened – leads people to resist the social influence of others" (Steindl et al. 2015)

Relevant substantive theories

Theory of psychological reactance (Brehm)


  • Brehm J. W. (1972). Responses to loss of freedom: A theory of psychological reactance. Morristown, NJ: General Learning Corporation

  • Steindl, C., Jonas, E., Sittenthaler, S., Traut-Mattausch, E., & Greenberg, J. (2015). Understanding Psychological Reactance: New Developments and Findings. Zeitschrift fur Psychologie, 223(4), 205–214.


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