This study extends psychological reactance theory by examining denial of a public health threat and resistance toward media sharing as two novel types of freedom restoration. Participants (N = 220) were randomly assigned to watch a video advocating COVID-19 guidelines and completed an online survey assessing corresponding perceptions and behavioral intentions. Results of structural equation modeling supported the two-step model of reactance: greater perceived freedom threat was related to greater reactance, which in turn was linked to lower intentions to comply with COVID-19 guidelines, lower intentions to share the video with one’s online social network, and greater denial of COVID-19 as a public health threat. Implications for psychological reactance theory and health campaign design are discussed.
McGuire, N. H., & Ball, H. (2022). Extending psychological reactance theory to include denial of threat and media sharing intentions as freedom restoration behavior. Communication Research Reports. https://doi.org/10.1080/08824096.2022.2058480
Taylor & Francis
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
Available for download on Friday, September 29, 2023
Communication Technology and New Media Commons, Critical and Cultural Studies Commons, Health Communication Commons, Health Psychology Commons, Mass Communication Commons, Other Psychology Commons, Personality and Social Contexts Commons, Social Influence and Political Communication Commons, Social Media Commons