Reducing Reactance Induced Backlash Responses to Recommendations

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.


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.


Yael Zemack-Rugar, Duke University, USA
Donald R. Lehmann, Columbia University, USA


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34 | 2007

Share Proceeding

Featured papers

See More


Mere and Near Completion

Bowen Ruan, University of Wisconsin - Madison, USA
Evan Polman, University of Wisconsin - Madison, USA
Robin Tanner, University of Wisconsin - Madison, USA

Read More


The "Healthy=Lighter" Heuristic

Nico Heuvinck, IESEG School of Management
Yi Li, Macquarie University
Mario Pandelaere, Virginia Tech, USA

Read More


Penny for Your Preferences: Leveraging Self-Expression to Increase Prosocial Giving

Jacqueline R. Rifkin, Duke University, USA
Katherine Crain, Duke University, USA
Jonah Berger, University of Pennsylvania, USA

Read More

Engage with Us

Becoming an Association for Consumer Research member is simple. Membership in ACR is relatively inexpensive, but brings significant benefits to its members.