It’s a maddening thing: you tell a child not to touch the hot stove, and the second you turn around he’s burned himself. You ask your co-worker to look over your report, and she puts it off longer. So why do people so often do the opposite of what they’re asked? It all comes down to three key psychological principles.
The first is the principle of reactance. When you’re discouraged from doing something, you feel that your freedom is being compromised and you’re motivated to regain control over your surroundings. The second principle is the rebound: being told to do something is like being told not to think about it, so of course we can’t help but think about it. And finally, there’s curiosity. When a certain behavior is forbidden, we immediately start to wonder why and we’re driven to find out. All of these principles of reverse psychology can be used against us, and chances are you’ve used them at one point or another. They’re often useful marketing tactics, but in the business world you should always stop and think about why you oppose a certain recommendation, and if it’s worth it to fight it.
Read the full article here: Why People Often Do the Exact Opposite of What They’re Told