Emotions and unlearning in Amway recruiting techniques - Promoting change through 'safe' ambivalence

Academic Article


  • Based on an ethnography of recruiting methods, this article explains why Amway distributors attempt to generate strong and conflicting emotions among recruits (i.e. ambivalence) to facilitate learning. Case data are used to construct a three-stage model of the full unlearning and relearning cycle that is triggered by felt ambivalence. Thus, emotion is seen as a core element in changing the cognitions and behaviors of individuals and organizations. The micro- and macro-level implications of bridging the research on emotion and learning theories are discussed.
  • Authors

  • Pratt, MG
  • Barnett, Carole
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • March 1997
  • Has Subject Area

    Published In


  • Basic Behavioral and Social Science
  • Behavioral and Social Science
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • 65
  • End Page

  • 88
  • Volume

  • 28
  • Issue

  • 1