How ‘Reactant’ are you?

Man dives off pier illegallyEver have someone tell you to do something you knew in your head you should do, but couldn’t avoid a gut-level reaction to do the opposite? When you see a “Keep off the grass” sign, does it make you want to play a game of football? Does all the anti-smoking rhetoric make you want to flare one up?

If the answer is yes, then you may have a high level of Reactance. We love our freedom, and will act in irrational and self-destructive ways whenever it is threatened. It’s a factor behind things like the Boston Tea Party, poor performance at work, and even the growing rejection of Global Warming.

The full article on Reactance at Harvard Business Review.

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