Me: Can you cook me breakfast in the morning?
Him: Like what?
Me: Bacon, eggs, tomatoes….
Him: No, I won’t have time.
Me: Could you do something now and stick it in the fridge instead?
Him: Umm, yeah, sure.
Me: *smirks* Thanks honey.
I often prepare breakfast the night before, but one night it had slipped my mind. As my husband was getting ready for bed, I had a cunning plan. If I asked him for a big favour first – cooking me breakfast in the morning, which is very effortful and time consuming – and then a smaller favour – which required much less time and energy -then chances were, he would do the second one. Needless to say, he went and made my breakfast without hesitation. This is called the least-of-evils technique (Pratkanis, 2007), whereby I gave my husband a limited number of options, so that he felt he was free to choose the “lesser of evils”, even though I wanted the second option all along.