"...two-year-olds who are told not to play with a particular toy suddenly find that toy more appealing. [...] Students who are told they have their choice of five posters, but then are told one of them is not available suddenly like that one more..." (from the excellent textbook Social Psychology and Human Nature)
"...warning labels on violent television programs across five age groups (ranging from 9 to 21 years and over) were more likely to attract persons in these groups to the violent program than information labels and no label." (Chadee, 2011)
- You want it more.
- You rebel by reasserting your freedom.
- You feel angry at the person restricting your freedom.
- 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.