Third-Person Accounts of the Door-in-the-Face Influence Strategy
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In the Door-in-the-Face (DITF) compliance procedure, an individual is first asked to carry out an extremely difficult request which the individual inevitably rejects. After rejection, the initial request is followed by a smaller request for compliance. DITF predicts compliance is significantly higher than if the smaller request is asked by itself (Cialdini et al., 1975). Several theories (e.g. reciprocal concessions, guilt, and social responsibility) have been offered to explain the DITF effect with no single theory emerging as a clear winner. The current study examined the perspective of a student as an observer of the DITF scenario in an effort to explain findings in this study. Three factors were manipulated in a between-subjects factorial design: (1) size of initial request (large, moderate, small), (2) relationship (acquaintance, stranger), and (3) compliance (compliance, no compliance). In addition, students ( N = 403) were exposed to either a DITF (i.e. 2 requests) or control (2 nd request only) vignette. Findings indicated that students reported that the target compared the second request to the initial request when there was compliance. Results indicated that student's rated the size of the moderate and large initial requests scenarios smaller than the small initial request scenarios.