An Analysis of Types and Targets of Coercive Interference

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College of Business


Over time, coercion, the use of power to influence someone to do what they do not want to, has become subtler, arguably because of both social pressure to reduce coercion in society and new technologies that can make it less detectable. This article draws on discussions within philosophy and psychology to reflect on the adequacy of existing definitions of coercion given this trend. A taxonomy of coercion types that combines philosophical concepts of freedom and coercion with the three-term contingency from behavioral psychology suggests that current definitions miss some of the subtler methods of coercion, particularly those that impact positive freedom. Theoretical contributions and practical applications of the taxonomy are discussed.

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Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology