Psychologist Tanya Chartrand of Duke University conducted the study of why nagging doesn't work. She started the study because she couldn't get her own husband to do what she wanted him to do:
Be careful what you ask, because you may get just the opposite. New research shows that if a parent nags a son about cleaning up his room, the kid will probably dig in his heels and live in a pig pen even if he doesn't realize mom is still on his case.
The same holds true for a spouse. Or some other significant other. And the more controlling that person seems to be, the more likely the individual will "automatically do the opposite of that which the significant other wishes," the scientists report in the current issue of the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.