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Title:Let me skip the ads! Revisiting the psychological reactance theory in an advertising context through examining the role of expectation
Author(s):Song, Yoo Jin
Advisor(s):Duff, Brittany
Department / Program:Advertising
Discipline:Advertising
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:M.S.
Genre:Thesis
Subject(s):Psychological reactance
expectation
freedom
TV advertising
Abstract:Many young people watch TV content online or with a DVR, giving viewers more control over ads. This thesis hypothesizes that having control over ads placed in the middle of TV shows increases viewers’ expectation of the freedom to watch TV without ad interruptions, compared to having no control. It also posits that the increased expectation of freedom will lead to greater reactance and willingness to restore that freedom. Two pretests and an experiment were conducted, in which participants experienced the freedom to watch TV shows without ad interruptions during the first episode and in which the freedom was taken away during the second episode. The result showed that experiencing freedom led to greater reactance when the freedom was taken away, in consistent with the reactance theory. However, other findings showed that the processes that define reactance theory did not occur. In particular, experiencing freedom did not lead to greater expectation and importance of freedom and reactance did not lead to greater willingness to restore the freedom. Thus, this thesis emphasizes the need to revisit the reactance theory and re-examine the suggested mediators, such as expectation and importance of freedom. Also, it implies that there might be potential conditions under which reactance does not elicit willingness to restore the freedom. Finally, this thesis addresses limitations of its own as well as of the reactance literature, provides ideas on how to reduce viewers’ reactance towards in-program ads, and suggests future research areas.
Issue Date:2014-01-16
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/46707
Rights Information:Copyright 2013 Yoo Jin Song
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-01-16
Date Deposited:2013-12


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