The Effect of Limits in Retail Advertisements: A Reactance Theory Perspective

Document Type



Published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. in Psychology and Marketing, volume 5 issue 1, 1988. Bryant users may access this article here.


John Wiley & Sons, Inc. / Business

Publication Source

Psychology & Marketing


It is not uncommon for retailers to impose limits (e.g., "limit one per customer") on advertised products. The attitudinal and behavioral effects of such advertised limits have been largely unexplored. The present research uses psychological reactance theory to generate insight into the effects of advertised limits. It was found that limits are both capable of attracting and repelling consumers depending upon the severity of the limit. In the experimental context that was used, age and income were found to be positively related to the effectiveness of limits.