According to the pique technique, a target is more likely to comply if mindless refusal is disrupted by a strange or unusual request. We demonstrated the use of this technique in two experiments. In Experiment 1, passersby on a local municipal wharf were approached by a confederate panhandler who made either one of two strange requests: “Can you spare 17¢ (or 37¢)?” or made either one of two typical requests “Can you spare a quarter (or any change)?” Subjects in the strange conditions were almost 60% more likely to give money than those receiving the typical plea. In addition, a strange request piqued interest as evidenced by increased verbal inquiries about the request. Experiment 2 replicated the first experiment in a laboratory setting and provides additional evidence (via a cognitive response analysis) that strange requests piqued subjects' interest in the appeal as well as increased liking for the panhandler.
Journal of Applied Social Psychology – Wiley
Published: May 1, 1994
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