Behaviour Change

PROPAGANDA FOR CHANGE is a project created by the students of Behaviour Change (ps359) and Professor Thomas Hills @thomhills at the Psychology Department of the University of Warwick. This work was supported by funding from Warwick's Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Peter Griffin negotiates


In this clip
from Family Guy, Peter Griffin is hired as James Woods’ agent and is trying to negotiate
a deal for a script with studio executives. 
Family Guy loves a parody and in this clip they parody the negotiation
technique door in the face.  This is
where an individual proposes an extreme request which is rejected and then moves
to a smaller request which is more likely to be accepted.

Chialdini et al. (1975) showed
the effectiveness of the door in the face technique in one of their
experiments.  They approached students and
made an extreme request followed by a smaller request or just made a small
request.  The large request asked
students to perform as a counsellor
to juvenile delinquents for at least 2 years. 
The smaller request asked students to take a group of juvenile
delinquents to the zoo for 2 hours.  They
found that making an extreme initial request which is rejected, and then moving
onto a smaller request significantly increases the probability of agreement to
the second request.  They suggested the
reason for this is that when an individual rejects a large request, they feel
they must agree to the smaller request in order to relieve any felt pressure
for reciprocation of concessions.

So, in this
clip Peter initially asks for “everything” which is rejected by the studio
executives.  He then asks for “something”
which is accepted by the executives as it is a smaller, more reasonable request
than the first.  As a result of using the
door in the face technique even Peter Griffin, an unintelligent, crude and
lowbrow man, is able to effectively negotiate a deal.


R. B., Vincent, J. E., Lewis, S. K., Catalan, J., Wheeler, D., & Darby, B.
L. (1975). Reciprocal concessions procedure for inducing compliance: The
door-in-the-face technique. 
Journal of personality and Social Psychology31,

Amy Bennoson

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