Examining the role of trait reactance and sensation seeking on perceived threat, state reactance, and reactance restoration

Brian L. Quick, Michael T. Stephenson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The present investigation sought to advance Psychological Reactance Theory (PRT) by examining whether trait reactance and sensation seeking influence the magnitude of a perceived threat, state reactance, and reactance restoration. Results revealed that high trait reactant (HTR) and low trait reactant (LTR) individuals and high sensation seekers (HSS) and low sensation seekers (LSS) processed persuasive messages similarly, adding credibility to recent PRT advances. Dogmatic and vivid language were perceived as a threat for most individuals. An interaction between dogmatic and vivid language on perceived threat was found for HTR and HSS for the sunscreen message. An indirect effect connecting language features and state reactance through perceived threat was supported. Regression analysis revealed that trait reactance and sensation seeking predict variables associated with state reactance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)448-476
Number of pages29
JournalHuman Communication Research
Volume34
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Anthropology
  • Linguistics and Language

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