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Opponent Process Theory definition | Psychology Glossary |

Opponent Process Theory

A theory suggested by Solomon where emotional reactions to a stimulus are followed by opposite emotional reactions. This theory may explain why stunt people enjoy their work. First the individual will feel intense anxiety before performing a stunt and then the person will receive an opposite reaction of relief after the stunt is completed. The theory also postulates that repeated exposure to the stimulus will cause less of an initial reaction and a stronger opposing reaction. This may explain why drugs, such as opiates, give diminishing returns after prolonged use yet the effects of withdraw become more intensified and unpleasant.

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