The experience of psychological reactance in response to encountering fees for public land recreation Academic Article uri icon


  • The increasing use of fees by public leisure service providers has the potential to deprive lower income users of their ability to freely choose specific leisure settings and experiences supported by these settings. It has been suggested that the theory of psychological reactance captures the nature of negative affects when individuals ability to choose from a range of alternatives is impinged upon. Using data collected from visitors to a south-eastern National Forest in the Unites States, we tested the hypothesis that household income would be inversely related to the experience of psychological reactance. Our data offered partial support for this hypothesis, illustrating significant differences between the highest and lowest income brackets in the hypothesized direction. These data suggest that lower income groups are more likely to respond negatively toward fees than higher income groups. We also suggest that psychological reactance deserves greater attention by leisure researchers, particularly for understanding the impacts of fees and other management actions that can potentially displace users of leisure services. 2005 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

published proceedings

  • Leisure/Loisir

author list (cited authors)

  • Kyle, G. T., Absher, J. D., & Chancellor, C.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Kyle, Gerard T||Absher, James D||Chancellor, Charles

publication date

  • January 2005