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, November 11, 2016

Why I have 7 e-mail addresses...

I have a lot of e-mail addresses. The last time I checked I have 7 ranging from the embarrassing (I made this when I was 9) to my university account I still use all of these e-mail addresses and the reason: The Foot-in-the-Door technique.
Foot-in-the-door technique is a compliance tactic that is achieved by first asking for a modest request, then following it up with a larger request. Through ‘successive approximations’, the more people agree to do the small seemingly harmless requests, the more likely they are to feel obligated to comply with the bigger requests (Beaman et al., 2983; Goldstein et al., 2008).  

For example, in 1966, two Stanford researchers (Freedman & Fraser, 1966) carried out experiments to see if they asked housewives to answer a few non-invasive questions about household kitchen products (on the phone) whether they would then let someone then come to their house to catalogue all their products. So a small request, then a bigger request. They found out of the women that agreed to the small request, 52.8% agreed to the bigger request, whereas, only 22.2% of the control group (just big request) agreed (Freedman & Fraser, 1966).

So when Netflix offers me a free month, Amazon Prime offers me free one-day delivery, Spotify offers me Premium for student discount and Now TV offers me a 14-day free trial how can I not sign up? However, with all these generous free trials and free delivery comes the unspoken dependence I then have on the series I am hooked on and the more likely I am to comply to the bigger more expensive requests after my time is up. My way around this – my multiple e-mail addresses.
Using different e-mail addresses to sign up means you can prolong the first phase of the foot-in-the-door technique and avoid the bigger and more expensive second phase.

Goldstein, N. J., Martin, S. J., & Cialdini, R. B. (2008). Yes! 50 scientifically proven ways to be persuasive Free Press, New York, NY.

Beaman, A. L., Cole, C. M., Preston, M., Klentz, B., & Steblay, N. M. (1983). Fifteen Years of Foot-in-the Door Research A Meta-Analysis. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin9(2), 181–196. doi:10.1177/0146167283092002

Freedman, J. L., & Fraser, S. C. (1966). Compliance Without Pressure: The Foot-in-the-Door Technique. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology4(2), 195–202.

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