From fighting the system to embracing it: control loss promotes system justification among those high in psychological reactance

Knight, Clinton G., Tobin, Stephanie J. and Hornsey, Matthew J. (2014) From fighting the system to embracing it: control loss promotes system justification among those high in psychological reactance. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 54 139-146. doi:10.1016/j.jesp.2014.04.012

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Author Knight, Clinton G.
Tobin, Stephanie J.
Hornsey, Matthew J.
Title From fighting the system to embracing it: control loss promotes system justification among those high in psychological reactance
Journal name Journal of Experimental Social Psychology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0022-1031
1096-0465
Publication date 2014-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.jesp.2014.04.012
Open Access Status
Volume 54
Start page 139
End page 146
Total pages 8
Place of publication Maryland Heights, MO, United States
Publisher Academic Press
Language eng
Abstract One way to restore a sense of control is to system justify. Individuals high in trait reactance are particularly motivated to regain a sense of control in the face of freedom loss. But will high-reactance individuals system justify to restore control, given that they typically oppose authority? Based on the Compensatory Control Model (CCM), we propose that high-reactance individuals' motivation to compensate for control loss will, at times, overcome this aversion to authority and lead to increased system justification. In Study 1, high-reactance American participants were shown to hold stronger oppositional attitudes toward government authority (i.e., they showed reduced system justification). In Studies 2-4, only high-reactance participants increased their support of government when personal control was reduced. Thus, for high-reactance individuals, the need for control compensation overpowers the need to hold anti-authority attitudes. Outcomes support a CCM account of control compensation for those high (not low) in trait reactance.
Keyword Compensatory control
Freedom
Reactance
System justification
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
 
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Created: Wed, 28 May 2014, 22:54:25 EST by Dr Stephanie Tobin on behalf of School of Psychology