ERIC Number: ED249427
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Differential Effectiveness of Theoretical Accounts for Paradox.
Forsyth, Nancy M.; Strong, Stanley R.
Paradoxical techniques in counseling consist of directing clients to practice the symptom which is causing them psychological distress. Both impression management theory and reactance theory have been advanced to explain the efficacy of such techniques. To examine the effectiveness of paradoxical techniques according to impression management and reactance theories, students who were identified as procrastinators by a classroom pretest were asked to volunteer to participate in two interviews designed to help them decrease their procrastination. Each of these interviews contained a paradoxical directive. Approximately 2 weeks following the interviews, students were again measured for procrastination, both in the classroom, and in the presence of the interviewer who conducted the therapy sessions (Interviewer Present). Another group was measured only in the classroom situation (Interviewer Absent). A third group was measured in the classroom and given no therapeutic interviews (Control). An analysis of the results showed that all three groups decreased their procrastination behavior, although these changes were nonsignificant. The Interviewer Present group showed a decrease in procrastination when measured by the interviewer, and then a slight increase in procrastination at the final measurement. These findings tend to support impression management theory, although questions about the overall effectiveness of paradoxical techniques are raised. (BL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Counselors; Researchers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Impression Management; Procrastination; Reactance (Psychology)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association (Baltimore, MD, April 12-15, 1984).