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Resisting Persuasion

  • By: Eric S. Knowles, Jessica M. Nolan & Dan D Riner
  • In: Encyclopedia of Social Psychology
  • Edited by: Roy F. Baumeister & Kathleen D. Vohs
  • Subject:Social Psychology (general)

Resistance is central to persuasion. Without resistance, persuasion is not necessary. Resistance to persuasion can be desirable, for example, when nonsmokers repeatedly resist advertisements and peer pressure encouraging them to smoke. But resistance can also be an undesirable characteristic, as when smokers resist the many strong messages encouraging them to stop smoking and prolong their lives.

Effective resistance can be used to ward off unwanted persuasion, but inappropriate resistance can close a person off to meaningful changes. Skepticism, reactance, and inertia are three kinds of resistance that work in different way to limit persuasion. People can do many things to increase or to decrease their own or other people's resistance to persuasion.

Three Kinds of Resistance

Resistance to persuasion is not just one single thing. One encounters three ...

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