changingminds.org

How we change what others think, feel, believe and do

 

Disciplines

 

Techniques

 

Principles

 

Explanations

 

Theories

 

 

Home

 

Blog!

 

Quotes

 

Guest articles

 

Analysis

 

Books

 

Help us

 

Links

 

 

Please help
and share:

 

Opponent-Process Theory

 

Explanations > Theories > Opponent-Process Theory

Description | Research | Example | So What? | See also | References 

 

Description

We have pairs of emotions that act in opposing pairs, such as happiness and sadness, fear and relief, pleasure and pain. When one of these is experienced, the other is temporarily suppressed. This opposite emotion, however, is likely to re-emerge strongly and may curtail or interact with the initial emotion.

Thus activating one emotion also activates its opposite and they interact as a linked pair.

To some extent, this can be used to explain drug use and other addictive behavior, as the pleasure of the high is used to suppress the pain of withdrawal.

Sometimes these two conflicting emotions may be felt at the same time as the second emotion intrudes before the first emotion wanes. The result is a confusing combined experience of two emotions being felt at the same time that normally are mutually exclusive. Thus we can feel happy-sad, scared-relieved, love-hate, etc. This can be unpleasant but as an experiential thrill it can also have a strangely enjoyable element (and seems to be a basis of excitement).

Research

Solomon and Corbit (1974) analyzed the emotions of skydivers. Beginners experienced extreme fear in their initial jump, which turned into great relief when they landed. With repeated jumps, the fear of jumping decreased and the post-jump pleasure increased.

Example

A person buys something to cheer themselves up but later feels guilty at having spent so much. So they buy something else to cheer up again.

A thrill seeker goes rafting. The excitement of the journey is a mix of fear of the next rapids and relief at having survived the last one.

So What?

Using it

To stop a person feeling one thing, stimulate the opposite emotion.

Tell people good and bad news in close succession. Then in the confusion get them to agree to your real request.

Defending

When you are stimulated to feel one emotion, pause and think about the future: will the opposite appear afterwards? Is this what you want?

When you feel conflicting emotions, take care not to agree to anything. Calm down first.

See also

Theories about emotion

References

Solomon and Corbit (1974)

Solomon (1980)

 

 

 

More Kindle books:

And the big
paperback book


Add/share/save:


 

 


Save the rain


 

 


SalesProCentral

 

Contact Caveat About Students Webmasters Awards Guestbook Feedback Sitemap Changes

 

 

Quick links

Disciplines

* Argument

Brand management

* Change Management

Coaching
+
Communication

Counseling

Game Design

+ Human Resources

+ Job-finding

* Leadership

Marketing

Politics

+ Propaganda

+ Rhetoric

* Negotiation

* Psychoanalysis

* Sales

Sociology

+ Storytelling

+ Teaching

Warfare

Workplace design

 

Techniques

+ Assertiveness

* Body language

* Change techniques

* Closing techniques

+ Conversation

Confidence tricks

* Conversion

* Creative techniques

* General techniques

+ Happiness

+ Hypnotism

+ Interrogation

* Language

+ Listening

* Negotiation tactics

* Objection handling

+ Propaganda

* Problem-solving

* Public speaking

+ Questioning

Using repetition

* Resisting persuasion

+ Self-development

Sequential requests

Stress Management

* Tipping

Using humor

* Willpower

Principles

+ Principles

Explanations

* Behaviors

+ Beliefs

Brain stuff

Conditioning

+ Coping Mechanisms

+ Critical Theory

+ Culture

Decisions

* Emotions

Evolution

Gender

+ Games

Groups

+ Identity

+ Learning

Meaning

Memory

Motivation

+ Models

* Needs

+ Personality

+ Power

* Preferences

+ Research

Relationships

+ SIFT Model

+ Social Research

Stress

+ Trust

+ Values

Theories

* Alphabetic list

* Theory types

 


  Changing Minds 2002-2013

  Massive Content -- Maximum Speed

TOP