How To Use Reverse Psychology
Dr. Eldad Farhy discusses the urban myth of reverse psychology. He explains why this method is not currently taught in training schools and why its use with children is not effective.
I'm Dr. Eldad Farhy. I'm a counselling and psychotherapeutic psychologist.
I run psychologyexpert.co.uk, and today, I will be talking about psychology.
Reverse psychology. Well, let's start by doing a bit of that on you. There is no such thing as reverse psychology.
No, I'm serious. There isn't such a thing. This is a commonly held misconception that reverse psychology is a technique or maybe a way of making people do things that they don't want to.
Well, yes. It is in the common day-to-day occurrences sometimes, especially if you're dealing with a surly child, you tell them “Don't go that way,” so they will go that way. However, that is not really a psychological approach or method that is recognized in any of the training schools.
So if you want to reach, so if you want to do or apply reverse psychology, use your common sense. Think of the person you are trying to influence and whether trying to convince them would not work better than trying to sort of manipulate them. Really, reverse psychology is a way of manipulation.
If it works, so be it. But it often can blow back in our face. That's why it is not used professionally and it is not taught professionally.
If we do it in day-to-day, well, we do a lot of things day-to-day but they are not really psychology. Reverse psychology is really some type of urban myth. That is, it does not exist in formal psychological parlance.
It usually refers to the practice of asking people to do something with the purpose of getting them to act in the opposite manner. We often would use that with children for instance and also when we are sort of having a child-like argument with friends. “I dare you to do that,” hoping that they either do it or that they say “No way, I will do it.
” Yes, we can use that in our day-to-day sort of interactions but it isn't, and it would not work, and certainly wouldn't be taught as a formal psychological approach or method. .