When does reverse psychology work best?


Via PsyBlog:

Reverse psychology works best with people who are contrary or resistant. In contrast agreeable people are likely to go along with you anyway so you don’t need to use it.

It’s effects are increased when:

  • The more attractive and important the option that’s being restricted, the greater the psychological reactance.
  • The greater the restriction of freedom, the greater the psychological reactance.
  • Arbitrary threats produce high reactance because they don’t make sense, which makes people more rebellious.

But keep in mind:

Watch out, though, people hate being manipulated. If they sense you are trying to get them to do something by telling them to do the opposite, a form of reverse reverse psychology may operate. So they end up doing what you tell them, just to spite your attempts to control them.

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