Motivational Styles in Everyday Life: A Guide to Reversal Theory

Pages: 373
Item #: 431765A
ISBN: 978-1-55798-739-6
List Price: $39.95
Member/Affiliate Price: $34.95
Copyright: 2001
Format: Hardcover
Note: This book is out of print and no longer available for purchase.

Individual chapters of this book are available to purchase online.

In Motivational Styles in Everyday Life: A Guide to Reversal Theory, volume editor Michael J. Apter offers a compelling and unique perspective on some of the oldest questions facing psychology:

  • Why do we pursue potentially life-threatening activities such as smoking or sky diving, or things that thrill and frighten us, like horror movies or roller coasters?
  • How can we motivate the athlete, executive, employee, or student to higher levels of performance?

Based on the understanding that people are essentially changeable and move between different "motivational styles" in the course of daily life, this theory sheds light on the paradoxes of risk taking, addiction, rebelliousness, and other areas of motivation, emotion, and personality. Why people reverse from time-to-time between the pursuit of opposite kinds of satisfaction so that they contradict themselves, sometimes dramatically, is explored in this articulate, concise, and persuasive introduction to a complex theory with broad implications for understanding both normal and pathological human behavior.

Written by those in the forefront of reversal theory development over the past 25 years, this book offers a definitive statement of the theory along with research support in a wide variety of areas across the social sciences and biology. Reversal theory, which challenges some of the basic concepts of mainstream psychology, such as the trait concept of personality, is gaining widespread application in clinical psychology, counseling, and management consulting, and has much to offer psychology as a whole, leading to new questions, new hypotheses and solutions, and new avenues of research. This will prove to be an important book, an ideal introduction as well as an indispensable resource for those already using reversal theory.

Table of Contents



I. Introducing the Basic Concepts

  1. An Introduction to Reversal Theory
    —Michael J. Apter
  2. Reversal Theory as a Set of Propositions
    —Michael J. Apter

II. Empirical Support

  1. Reversal Theory Measures
    —Michael J. Apter and Mitzi Desselles
  2. Basic Research on Reversal Theory
    —Michael J. Apter and Ken Heskin
  3. The Psychophysiology of Metamotivation
    —Gareth Lewis and Sven Svebak

III. Research Applications

  1. Stress
    —Rod A. Martin and Sven Svebak
  2. Smoking and Smoking Cessation
    —Kathleen A. O'Connell and Mary R. Cook
  3. Addictions
    —R. Iain F. Brown
  4. Rebelliousness
    —Mark R. McDermott
  5. Sport and Exercise
    —John H. Kerr
  6. Risk-Taking
    —Mary M. Gerkovich
  7. Cognitive Synergy
    —Andrew S. Coulson

IV. Practical Applications

  1. Management and Organizations
    —Michael J. Apter and Stephen Carter
  2. Psychopathology, Therapy, and Counseling
    —Kathryn D. Lafreniere, David M. Ledgerwood, and Stephen J. Murgatroyd
  3. Reversal Theory in a Humanistic Perspective
    —David Fontana

V. Future Directions

  1. The Challenge of Reversal Theory
    —Michael J. Apter


Author Index

Subject Index

About the Editor