Reverse Psychology ~ DO NOT READ THIS!

Reverse psychology is mainly a method of changing another’s actions and thought through doing or saying the reverse of what you want the person to do (Kam, 2008). As such, as seen by the title, by supposedly saying “Do Not Read This”, your interest could be piqued by what this post is about and therefore, make you end up reading it. For another example of what reverse psychology is, feel free to watch the below Youtube video.

(Warning – M18, Do not watch if you feel offended – Not trying out reverse psychology here)

As mentioned by Radwan (N.D.), reverse psychology can serve to motive people to do something through igniting their fighting spirit to prove they can do it. As such, it would work best with stubborn people, narcissists and people who have too much confidence or self worth (Radwan, N.D.), mainly on people who see the user of reverse psychology as an adversary (SanDiegoFigureSKatingCommuunications, N.D.). This can be seen in from statements where you downplay a person’s abilities, causing them to want to prove you wrong (i.e. You won’t be able to do this as you have to be more skilled, making the person who hears this statement want to prove that they are skilled to the speaker).

Some areas reversal psychology can be useful/beneficial for are in workplaces to “motivate” or “aggravate” subordinates to increase work effectiveness/performance; and in education/parenting to help children aim to achieve their best. However, it must also be noted that reverse psychology must be used carefully and infrequently as this technique would not be successful if the individual notices what is going on (as seen from the above video) and may cause relations to be strained over time. Moreover, as I could not really find much research directly on the use of reversal psychology, I feel that more research should be conducted in order to achieve quantitative results where if reverse psychology is found to really motivate people, the education system and workplaces would teach employees to utilize this skill to improve work performances.

Tracy Yang

Fuse (Producer). (2007). WKUK – Reverse Psychology [Youtube]. Available from

Kam, D. (2008, January 30). Manipulation Method using Reverse Psychology [Web log post]. Retrived from

Radwan, M. F. (N.D.) Reverse Psychology. 2KnowMyself. Retrieved from

San Diego Figure Skating Communications. (N.D.) Communicating Concepts. Retrieved from



2 thoughts on “Reverse Psychology ~ DO NOT READ THIS!

  1. Reverse psychology can be an effective tool when applied to the field of marketing , a Prada store in Manhattan New York had a simplistic misleading window display ( a few weirdly dressed mannikin’s in the window) , there was an absence of advertising and marketing , however this intrigued passers by and and as a result the shop gained more foot trade because of this ‘reverse psychology’,thus showing that reverse psychology appeals to our nature to explore and question things.
    Indrajit Sinha, Thomas Foscht
    Reverse Psychology Marketing: The Death of Traditional Marketing

  2. Pingback: Effort Lab | Maksud Reverse Psychology Atau Psikologi Terbalik

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