The present research extends previous findings suggesting that sequential request techniques, such as the Foot-in-the-Door (FITD) or Door-in-the-Face (DITF) technique, are primarily effective under conditions conducive of mindlessness. We forward that this mindlessness may be the product of the influence technique itself. More specifically, based on the notion of self-control as a limited resource, we hypothesize that actively responding to the initial request-phase of a FITD-compliance gaining procedure drains the target of his/her self-regulatory resources, thus creating the mindlessness so often observed in social influence settings. This resource depletion opens the door for compliance with the target request. The results were in line with these expectations. More specifically, we observed that active responding to an initial request of a FITD technique reduced the availability of self-regulatory resources. This state of resource depletion mediated the effect of the technique on behavioral compliance. In addition, the results of this study ruled out the alternate explanation that the effects were attributable to mood or a general tendency for acquiescence.
Current Psychology – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 10, 2010
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