Feeling the Pressures: Considering the Context-Dependencies of Reactance Motivation in Underage Alcohol Consumption

N. Pontus Leander, Duke University, USA
Tanya Chartrand, Fuqua School of Business, Duke University, USA
James Shah, Duke University, USA
Gavan Fitzsimons, Duke University, USA
We examine how chronic reactance (a motivation to maintain decision freedom) can facilitate susceptibility to peer influences. Features of social environments such as a friend’s implied decision control (Study 1), chronic drinking tendencies (Study 2), or one’s relationship closeness with that person (Study 3) all may lead to increases in alcohol consumption. Results suggest that under low social pressure, another’s implied desire to drink was relatively more contagious to highly reactant individuals, which begins to resolve a paradox in existing research that links underage alcohol consumption to both reactance against social forces as well as acquiescence to peer contagion processes.
[ to cite ]:
N. Pontus Leander, Tanya Chartrand, James Shah, and Gavan Fitzsimons (2010) ,"Feeling the Pressures: Considering the Context-Dependencies of Reactance Motivation in Underage Alcohol Consumption", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 53-56 .