SRS Abstract for Foss & Dempsey Study 1, 1979


Foss, R. D., & Dempsey, C. B. (1979). Blood donation and the foot-in-the-door technique: A limiting case. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 37, 580-590.


The rationale for this experiment is to demonstrate that the foot-in-the-door technique for recruting blood donors is effective. However, it failed to do so and showed that this procedure does not influence either verbal or behavioral compliance, suggesting that the foot-in-the-door phenomenon is limited. Research participants were 76 dormitory residents at a small university who were given certain message about a blood drive. Subjects were individually approached in randomly selected rooms and initial requests were made. The procedures were followed by two female experimenters who asked the persons to advertise the blood drive and to actually donate blood. The measurements were conducted by counting the subjects' "yes" and "no" responses. The results show that those who complied with the initial request were not any more likly to comply with the critical request than those who were not approached with the initial request. The implications of this study are that verbal compliance does not mean that behavioral compliance will follow. Rather, behavioral compliance is substantially less than verbal compliance since only about half of those who verbally complied actually showed up to donate blood.


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© Hanna Ragnarsdottir, Steve Booth-Butterfield, and the SRS Team, 1996.
Created February 23, 1996; Last updated February 27, 1996.