Compliance techniques



Foot-in-the-door technique (FITD)


With the FITD technique, the real (and large) request is preceded by a smaller one. The FITD technique has been used in fund raising and to promote environmental awareness.


Study to use : Dickerson et al. (1992)


Evaluation of FITD




         The foot-in-the-door technique is most powerful when the personís self-image is related to the request, i.e. a request needs to be kept close to issues which the person is likely to care about and support, such as helping other people or protecting the environment.


The norm (or rule) of reciprocity


The social norm of reciprocity dictates that we treat other people the way they treat us. People are socialized into returning favors and this powerful rule underpins compliance. Lynn and McCall (1988) found that restaurants who offered a mint or a sweet with the bill received larger tips.


Study to use: Regan (1971)


Door-in-the-Face Technique


This is a technique used to get compliance from others (to get them to behave in a way you want) in which a large request is made knowing it will probably be refused so that the person will agree to a much smaller request. The real objective is to get the person to agree to the small request, which is made to seem very reasonable because it is compared to such a large, seemingly unreasonable request. In essence, the large request gets you the "door in the face" when you ask it. For example, someone might ask you to give to give 5 hours of your time a week for the next year as a volunteer to a charity. After hearing this offer you may think it is a huge request, after which you may be asked to, instead of committing to all this volunteering time, to just donate a small amount of money. Compared to the time commitment, this request seems much more acceptable.