SRS Abstract for Cialdini, Cacioppo, Bassett, & Miller, 1978


Cialdini,R.B., Cacioppo,J.T., Bassett,R., & Miller,J.A.(1978). Low-ball procedure for producing compliance: Commitment then cost.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 36, 463-476.


This article seeks to find the effectiveness of compliance- gaining using a low-ball technique. This technique is often used in sales as a tactic of getting someone to commit to some target behavior, and then raising the costs or expectations. Three experiments are conducted (1) to test the reliability of low-balling, (2) to compare low-balling effectiveness with foot-in-the-door effect, and (3) to emphasize the importance of choice in the theory and rationale of low-balling. In the 2nd experiment,participants receive messages of foot-in-the-door nature, low-ball, or control. The Procedures were not applied in a sales context, although the same ideas were applied. The implications of the effectiveness of low-balling are of some importance in studying compliance- gaining. Measurements of verbal compliance,and behavioral compliance are accounted for and the results compare effectiveness of the strategies.


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SRS Researcher: Shannon Sprague, Department of Communication Studies, West Virginia University
© Shannon Sprague, Steve Booth-Butterfield, and the SRS Team, 1996.

Created February 23, 1996; Last updated February 27, 1996.