Reducing Reactance Induced Backlash Responses to Recommendations

Yael Zemack-Rugar, Duke University, USA
Donald R. Lehmann, Columbia University, USA
Prior research has shown that marketers’ recommendations to consumers not only fail to decrease recommended against behaviors, but rather cause increases in the behaviors creating backlash effects. We examine the effects of four moderators on reactance induced backlash: freedom of choice, availability of substitutes, repetition, and elaboration. We find that substitute availability has little effect on reducing reactance; perception of freedom is the main driver of backlash responses. We also find that repetition can reduce backlash under some circumstances, and that although backlash is not driven by elaboration, elaboration can reduce reactance induced backlash. Implications for marketers are discussed.
[ to cite ]:
Yael Zemack-Rugar and Donald R. Lehmann (2007) ,"Reducing Reactance Induced Backlash Responses to Recommendations", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34, eds. Gavan Fitzsimons and Vicki Morwitz, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 263-264.