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J Pers Soc Psychol. 1983 Jan;44(1):220-8.

Reactance and the coronary-prone behavior pattern: the role of self-attribution in responses to reduced behavioral freedom.


An experiment is reported that explored the role of self-attributional differences as mediators of reactions to threats to control in Type A and Type B individuals. Both Type A and Type B subjects were placed in a choice elimination reactance paradigm. In addition to the standard control and choice elimination conditions, subjects were induced to attribute having a choice among evaluated items either to themselves or to the situation prior to experiencing the elimination of choice. Reactance was measured by the subjects' reevaluations of the eliminated choice alternative. Results indicated that when a behavioral freedom is blocked, without manipulating attributions, only Type As experienced reactance. When subjects were induced to attribute having a choice to themselves, the magnitude of the reactance responses increased for both Type As and Type Bs. In contrast, when Type As and Type Bs were induced to attribute having choice to the situation, neither group reacted to the loss of choice. These results are integrated with previous findings on the coronary-prone behavior pattern.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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