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.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Can you spare some time just for a gathering?

This is the last week of the term. Therefore, I decided to arrange a gathering with my friends. Yet, everyone is very busy with assignments and tests for the last week. So, I used a persuasive technique to make them to come to the gathering. I used the door-in-the –face technique. At the beginning, I suggested to do to Birmingham for a day trip on Saturday. However, everyone refused to go since they were so busy. Then, I invited them to have dinner in a restaurant in Coventry on Friday night. At last, most of my friends promised to come for the dinner.

The persuasive tactic, door-in-the face technique had been demonstrated by the study done by Cialdini et al. (1975). They investigated how the rejection of the first larger request would affect the compliance to the second smaller request. In their experiment, they randomly assigned the participants into 3 conditions: rejection-moderation condition, smaller request only condition and exposure condition. In the rejection-moderation condition, the experimenter would ask if the participants are willing to be a volunteer counselor working with juvenile delinquents 2 hours per week for 2 years. If the participants refuse to do so, the experimenter will ask for a smaller request which was to go to the zoo with the juvenile delinquents for around 2 hours.

For the smaller request only condition, the participants were invited to do the smaller request but for the exposure condition, the experimenter would introduce the 2 requests to the participants in one go. After that, the participants were allowed to choose for the one they would like to participate in.

The result showed that the compliance of the rejection-moderation condition is the highest among the 3 conditions, suggesting that asking for a larger request at the beginning would lead to a higher compliance to a smaller request afterwards. This study supported what I have done when I arranged for the gathering. In this situation, the larger request will be going for a day trip in Birmingham while the smaller request will be having a dinner in Coventry. 

Cialdini, R.B., Vincent,J.E., Lewis, S.K., Catalan, T., Wheeler, D., & Darby, B.L. (1975).Reciprocal concessions procedure for including compliance: The door-in-the-face technique. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 31, 206-215. 

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