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Reverse Psychology is a technique employing pessimism in order to produce a positive outcome.  Reverse psychology takes advantage of a person’s reactance. “Psychological reactance is unpleasant motivational arousal that emerges when people experience a threat to or loss of their free behaviors”.

Here are some facts about reverse psychology.


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Reverse Psychology is the best method to influence your child’s behavior without stunting their ability to mature into independent adults. For example, imagine a child who does not want to eat veggies. If parents demand them to eat them, they won’t. But if they tell them that the veggies in the fridge are for themselves, it is sure that the fridge would become empty.


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A teacher wants her student to submit a project which is difficult to a certain extent. The students would obviously view it as a mammoth task. But, if the teacher comment that it cannot be done by anyone as it needs to be done by brilliant students, it is sure that at least one kid will come forward to prove the teacher wrong.


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Some storekeepers do not display name or any information about their stores. This creates curiosity and a mystique feeling about the store. Consumers will try to visit the store and make a purchase in order to feed their psychological reactance.

Sales Strategy

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Nowadays, the sale strategy is based on reverse psychology.  The best example is the ‘Door in the Face’ technique. The salesperson talks in a pressurizing manner to the consumer. This makes the consumer suggest a smaller offer which is more comfortable for the consumer. Thus, the sale takes place, howsoever.


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Sometimes it is necessary to wake up the arrogant stubborn teenager in ourselves. Counselors widely recommend reverse psychology for youngsters and sometimes, for adults too, as it is far more helping to make them realize their true potential.

Forbidden Fruit

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If something is forbidden, we get more and more restless about the restriction imposed upon us. To save this as a fun fact, philosophers comment that God introduced reverse psychology along with Adam and Eve. The forbidden fruit was something which aroused curiosity in them. They say that it was the ultimate reason why Eve plucked the fruit when temptation (snake) triggered in her.

It can be dangerous too

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Reverse Psychology only effective if used with stubborn people. If this is used among people with low self-esteem, it might worsen the situation as it will affect their confidence. Always remember that some need support and some needs resistance.

It can be very successful in advertising and may be helpful when dealing with certain types of people. However, you should be very careful in regards to how and when you use reverse psychology. It can be seen as a form of manipulation. When used habitually, it can actually damage relationships. Stick to using reverse psychology on occasion only, and in non-serious situations.

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