Reverse psychology is when your true intent differs from what you ask a person to do. This method can be helpful or harmful.
If you’ve ever asked someone to do something that was the opposite of what you actually wanted them to do, there’s a good chance you were using reverse psychology.
When a person responds by doing exactly what you wanted them to do despite that you asked them to do something else, then your strategy was effective.
Similar to passive-aggressive behavior, reverse psychology is an indirect approach to getting what you want.
Even with the best of intentions, reverse psychology can backfire. While reverse psychology can be useful in many situations, it’s important to know when this persuasive technique is potentially harmful to others.
Reverse psychology is a strategy that many people use to influence a situation to achieve their desired outcome.
When your true intent is different from what you ask a person to do, you are using reverse psychology. The result is that the other person behaves the way you would genuinely like them to, even though you didn’t ask them directly.
Psychologists use the term “strategic self-anticonformity” to describe reverse psychology because a person’s communicated request is in direct opposition to their actual desire.
Research from 2010 shows that strategic self-anticonformity is an effective method of persuasion that can also generate a sense of reassurance between individuals.
If you’re on the receiving end of reverse psychology, you