An Examination of the But-You-Are-Free (BYAF) Technique Effectiveness
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The "but-you-are-free" (BYAF) technique consists of a direct request with a phrase that emphasizes the target's freedom to comply or not. Prior research suggests that the BYAF is more effective in individualist countries where personal freedom is important, as compared to collectivist countries where personal freedom is less emphasized (Pascual et al., 2012). Two studies were conducted to assess the effectiveness of the BYAF in the United States, an individualist country. Study 1 attempted to replicate the findings of Guéguen and Pascual (2000) and examined whether the BYAF is more effective than a direct request. Contrary to earlier findings, results indicated that the BYAF was not effective as compared to a direct request. Study 2 was conducted in order to assess whether the type of request, the topic of the request, or the placement of the BYAF phrase affected the pattern of results in Study 1. Similar to Study 1, the BYAF was not more effective than a direct request upon varying the type, topic, or placement of the BYAF phrase. These findings are discussed in terms of their implications for compliance strategies and future research is proposed.