Other Names: Chronic psychological resistance
Nature: Those who are chronically sceptical or cynical about almost anything affirmed or done by someone else may be so according to their nature at an individual level, or carry this through to a negative attitude in their official capacities. In the latter case, such negativism can permeate an organization or a national government; this can lead to a withdrawal from international affairs or to a lack of cooperation, including active resistance to all new ideas or developmental programmes. In practical behavioural terms, negativism and resistance amount to the same thing and in an aggravated form may be expressed in a 'spoiler' mentality that seeks to impede any process. In psychological terms, negative resistance may be a development from a number of personality disorders in which an over-developed ego emerges. This is aggravated when individuals attain some self-perceived power over others and are in a position to veto recommendations or suggestions. Such negative individuals may immediately advocate the opposite of the recommendation, or, only after a long period, reintroduce the recommendation as their own without necessarily being aware of their inner processes of absorption.
Incidence: Pathological negativism occurs among mental patients who do the opposite of what they are asked (active negativism); who do the opposite from their physiological promptings and urges (passive negativism); or who express the opposite of their own intentions or affirmations (intellectual negativism). The latter case, in milder form, is seen among those who express all sides of a question, reverse their own positions during argumentation, and are otherwise characteristically ambivalent.
Problem Type: F: Fuzzy exceptional problems
Date of last update 01.01.2000 – 00:00 CET