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Foot-in-the-door technique (Freedman & Fraser, 1966) is an effective compliance tactic that involves getting a person to agree to a large request by first setting them up by having that person agree to a modest request. It takes advantage of the foot-in-the-door phenomenon:"the tendency for people who have first agreed to a small request to comply later with a larger request." (Myers (2007, p. 101)
The technique is used by children ("Can I go over to Suzy's house for an hour?" is followed shortly by "Can I stay the night"), roommates ("Can I borrow the car to go to the store?" may be followed by "Can I borrow the car for the weekend?"), students ("May I turn in the paper a few hours late?" may be followed by "May I turn it in next week?"), charities ("Would you sign this petition for our cause?" is followed by "Would you donate to our cause?"), and bosses ("Would you do me this little favor?" later leads to "Would you do me this big favor?"). A related trick is the Bait and switch, also known as the "low-ball" technique.
- Freedman, J.L. & Fraser, S.C. (1966). Compliance without pressure: The foot-in-the-door technique. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 4, 195-202.
- Myers, D. G. (2007). Exploring social psychology (4th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.
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