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.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

You are never safe from compliance techniques

The foot-in-the-door technique is when you first ask for a small or inexpensive request, and then follow this up with a larger, possibly expensive request. For example, you could ask your friend to lend you the bus fare for a journey, which they agree to, and then, once you get to your destination, ask them to buy you a pair of shoes. While this doesn't seem likely to happen, if you did not first ask them to pay for your bus fare they will be less likely to agree to pay for your shoes. It has been shown time and time again that the foot-in-the-door technique gains more compliance than a straight out larger request (Goldham, Creason & McCall, 1981.)

Gueguen and Jacob (2001) conducted an experiment to find out if the foot-in-the-door technique will work in an impersonal level, in the absence of human interaction. They designed a website, called 'Childhood Victims of Mines,' which appeared to be a page where you can donate to victims of a mine disaster. They also included links to other humanitarian organisation's websites which would allow donations to the cause.
In the experimental condition, participants were asked if they would sign a petition to help the victims, and then had the option to click on a link to donate money themselves. In the control condition there was no link to the petition.
Table 1 shows the results from this experiment. Those in the experimental condition were more likely to click on the link to donate, and also to visit the other organisations' websites.
This shows that the foot-in-the-door technique does not need to be delivered by an actual person, a website can also be successful in establishing compliance.

Amy Melody

Goldman, M., Creason, C., & McCall, C. (1981). Compliance employing a two-feet-in-the-door procedure. Journal of Social Psychology, 114, 259–265.

Gu├ęguen, N., & Jacob, C. (2001). Fund-raising on the web: The effect of an electronic foot-in-the-door on donation. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 4(6), 705-709.

1 comment:

  1. A little more explanation of the study would have benefited the blog, but an interesting study nonetheless.


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