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Foot-in-the-door technique (Freedman and Fraser, 1966)

STUDY
PLAY
Aim
to exhibit the foot-in-the-door technique
First part method and results
a researcher acted as a fake volunteer who asked some Californian residents if a large, ugly "Drive Carefully" sign to be placed in their front yards. Another group of residents was first asked to allow a smaller, prettier "Be a Safe Driver" sign, and asked to display the "Drive Carefully" sign two weeks afterwards.
It was found that 76% of the second group of residents complied and allowed the "Drive Carefully" sign. In comparison, only 17% of the first groups of residents complied.
Second part method and results
some residents were asked if they would sign a petition to maintain California's beauty. Most of the residents asked agreed. Two weeks later, the same residents were asked if the "Drive Carefully" sign could be placed in their front yards. The results were that 48% of the residents complied with the second ask, although the topics were unrelated.
Second part conclusion
The researchers' possible explanation was that signing the petition lead the residents to think of themselves as unselfish and agreed to display the sign in order to be consistent with their new self-image. However, the data was not enough to conclude that there was only one explanation.
Conclusion for entire study
It can be concluded from both parts of the study that compliance to a large request can be increased by making a small request first, even if the request are about different things. The requests were made by what were assumed to be nonprofit organizations, and the issues addressed in the requests were noncontroversial on purpose, so results could be different in other types of situations.
Applicable to
Discuss the use of compliance techniques (foot-in-the-door)