Response to restrictive policies: Reconciling system justification and psychological reactance

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Here we propose a dual process model to reconcile two contradictory predictions about how people respond to restrictive policies imposed upon them by organizations and systems within which they operate. When participants' attention was not drawn to the restrictive nature of the policy, or when it was, but their cognitive resources were restricted, we found evidence supporting a prediction based on System Justification Theory: Participants reacted favorably to restrictive policies, endorsing them and downplaying the importance of the restricted freedom. Only when we cued participants to focus their undivided attention on the restrictive nature of the policy did we find evidence supporting a prediction based on psychological reactance: Only then did participants display reactance and respond negatively to the policies. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Laurin, K; Kay, AC; Proudfoot, D; Fitzsimons, GJ

Published Date

  • November 1, 2013

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 122 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 152 - 162

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0749-5978

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.obhdp.2013.06.004

Citation Source

  • Scopus