FITD Dimensions:Implications


Baron, 1973

The findings of this work might implicate that several individuals in the moderate first request condition who refused to perform the second, larger request explained their refusal by stating that they had already done enough for the experimenter's organization, and that it was unfair for the experimenter to ask them to perform yet another task. Subjects in the small initial request condition made no such comments. This might suggest that subjects in the moderate first request group experienced feelings of psychological reactions that tended to reduce their willingness to comply.
The finding that the foot-in-the-door effect was more successful with male requesters might suggest that these housewives saw the males as more competent and knowledgeable than the female requesters.
Finally, this study suggests that the foot-in-the-door phenomenon may occur under more specific and restricted conditions than originally suggested by other experiments.



Beaman, Svanum, Manlove, & Hampton, 1974

In conclusion to the results of this study, it is suggested that one observes him/herself complying with some original request and also considers the surrounding environmental variables. These variables were manipulated in this study, so that some subjects were told that others had previously complied. This study examined if people would perceive the request an appropriate act to comply with since others had already done so. In other conditions, without the reactance variable, the study examined whether people would comply to a request based on their own compliance to a previous request- which was dealt with as a self-perception. In this case, a future opportunity for similar compliance to a large request will bring about more compliance than with the reactance.


Cialdini & Ascani, 1976

The implications of the findings of this study are focused on the rejection-then-retreat tactic of the door-in-the-face study, andhow it produces more compliance than the foot-in-the-door or the direct request tactic. People do comply with requests after the sourcehas made a concession on his/her part. A concession by one is met bythe concession of the other.


The surprising ineffectiveness of the minimal-then-critical (foot-inthe-door) method in gaining compliance in this study may mean that thetactic of the foot-in-the-door was not properly operationalized inthe study. It could also mean that certain conditions necessary for the occurrence of the tactic have not yet been clearly specified.


Cialdini, Cacioppo, Bassett, & Miller, 1978

The results of this study imply that when receivers make a commitmentto do something, and they make that decision freely (as in low-balling),they are more likely to actually follow through with the behavior, regardless of whether the cost increases. With foot-in-the-door, thisfree choice and commitment might be absent, causing less behavioralcompliance than in low-balling.


Dejong, 1981

Any of the conditions in the procedure of the study may affect the results and lead to implications: the nature of the dependent measure ("voluntary" helping versus compliance to a second request), the delay between the two surveys (which was between two to three days), or the size of the small minority of which subjects in the nonconsensus group learned they were a part.


Dejong & Funder, 1977

The results indicated implications of this study. The precise conditions under which the effect can be reliably obtained are not completely understood. The methodology utilized in this study may have led to the failure to demonstrate the FITD effect.


Fish & Kaplan, 1974

The implications entailed the active versus the passive nature of the message request cannot be explained adequately. They are not defined as any absolute compliance rates but as relative to the base rates. The study's orginial predictions which differentiated the commitment effects for active FITD compliance and substitution effects for passive FITD compliance may be overly simple, only holding true for cases in which the initial commitment is at a moderate level.


Foss & Dempsey Study 1, 1979

This study examines the foot-in-the-door technique by contacting subjects by going to their dorms and ask them to advertise a blood drive. The experimenters found that those who complied with the initial request were not more likly to comply with the larger request. This might be because of the compelling nature of the request used did not alter self-perceptions sufficiently to influence compliance with such a large request as donating blood. Like other experiments conducted by Foss and Dempsey (1979), this one was conducted in connection with a two day bloodmobile visit to a university campus.


Foss & Dempsey Study 2, 1979

This study, which is a part of series of experiments, provides evidence that the power of foot-in-the-door technique is overestimated. The utility of practical application of this phenomenon is not well documented. This study suggests that the foot-in-the-door technique does not influence blood donation. However, it would be risky to conclude that all costly behaviors are resistent to the foot-in-the-door technique. On the other hand, it would not be wise to explain the results of this study by the peculiar nature of blood donation. Other behaviors that have equally high costs, (i.e. donation of bone marrow and large amount of money) are also behaviors that people might not be able to engage in do to physical or other unalterable limitations. In conclusion, the peculiar nature of blood donation does not alone explain the negative findings of the foot-in-the-door technique.


Foss & Dempsey Study 3, 1979

This study shows that the foot-in-the- door technique has been overestimated and is not an effective determinant of compliance when it comes to blood donation. The consistent failure across three experiments demonstrates that the foot-in-the-door phenomena does not work despite different procedures and study of different population. It appears that the behavior is too costly for a slightly altered self-concept, which the foot-in-the-door procedures presumable produces, to influence a person's willingness to donate.


Freedman & Fraser Study 1, 1966

It appears that once people have made some kind of commitment to or involvement with the person making the request, their compliance increases. That might be because after the subject has complied with the first request, he or she might feel tobligated to comply with the second request in order not to dissapoint the experimenter. The increase in compliance after the first compliance should occur primarily when both requests are made by the same person.


Freedman & Fraser Study 2, 1966

It is apparent that those subjects who are first approached by an initial request are more likley to comply with a larger request. It is possible that the subjects feel obligated to comply once they have been involved with the issue at hand. It is not being suggested that this is the only mechanism operating here because there are probably a number of other factors that influence the subjects' decision to comply with the larger request.


Furse, Stewart, & Rados, 1981

To solve the implications, the FITD technique may be more effective when an interaction between the initial request and the subsequent request occurs such that agreement to the initial and the refusal of the second request generates some threshold level of dissonance that an individual considers intolerable. A more involved FITD technique in this study may have created cognitive dissonance and lead to a higher response rate with the FITD manipulation.


Hansen & Robinson, 1980

The implications of this study are that people are more likly to comply with a large request after a initial request has been made. This might be the case because once people get involved in an issue or task, they feel obligated to comply with the larger request. The results of this study suggests that the high involvement foot would be the greatest chance of generating compliance in a regular commercial business reseach situation.


Harris & Samerotte, 1976

Experiment 1

Results indicate that by harming someone passively as in this study, failing to watch or protect someone's goods for being stolen, can induce subsequent and perhaps greater acts of altruism. Interestingly enough the subsequent act of altruism does not even have to be towards the person initially harmed, as in this case third person experimenters asked for money after having nothing to do with the situation. The data tells us that people are more willing to give in situations of greater need as indicated through the use of High and Low need conditions. The findings suggest that there might be a rebound effect pertaining to the Stop Thief same group since there was significantly less helping in this group than others. Experiment 2 sought to expound this assumption.

Experiment 2

Results indicate that doing a small favor for others does increase the amount of altruism of that person in another situation. However, if the person had performed a relatively large task for someone then they appeared to be less likely to perform another task. This comes from the data of subjects actually preventing a thief as opposed to subjects not encountering a thief. Those that encountered the thief, a large task, were less likely to help any more. The implications of these findings are somewhat inconsistent with self-perception theory in that the change in attitude resulted towards helping a particular person, not so much a change in general behavior. Further results show that their are other effects of watching a theft and having such responsibility to prevent it. Such as, those who have the responsibility and don't need to take action may become more altruistic towards the responsibility granter. While those who have the responsibility and take action on it are less likely to help further. The findings of this study are consistent with the general pattern of findings of FITD research. In we are becoming more aware of the data showing those who receive compliance to an initial small request are more likely to receive future help from the same individual.


Pliner, et al., 1974

The outcomes reconfirm the Freedman and Fraser (1966) study. Getting individuals to comply with a larger request lead those more likely to donate money. The findings also indicate that the FITD technique does more to initiate a non behavior than it does on increasing an existing behavior. This data is consistent with the basis of FITD, self-perception theory, in that compliance with a request changes ones self-perception of their attitudes towards particular behaviors.


Reingen, 1978

The results clearly indicate that utilizing the experimental FITD strategy produces greater compliance than the control condition utilizing only direct requests for money. This information could be put to a good use for the benefit of non-profit organizations and any type of local fund-raiser. From this study and past research thee also seems to be a trend of simplicity in gaining compliance based on the use of the initial "trivial request". A word of caution is in order for once again these results show the nature of a prosocial request on a non generalizable population, college students.

Besides the practicality of these findings there are certain conceptual implications involved. The extreme-then-request conditions findings tend to support a concession perspective or DITF linked to dissonance theory. There are some discrepancies for the basis of FITD, self-perception theory, for results of the initial compliance and noncompliance conditions produce contrary data. For example, if initial compliance induces changes in self-perception that lead to greater compliance with second requests, then initial noncompliance should have the opposite effect. But small initial requests and extreme initial requests were equally effective in gaining compliance. This calls into question FITD's reliance on self-perception theory as its foundation.

There was a surprise in the ineffectiveness of the small initial request and extreme initial request to produce greater compliance than the control in gaining volunteer help. This may have been due to the perceived excess of concession by the subject after having already complied twice, whereas the control condition was only being asked to volunteer. Another surprise can from the insignificant differences between FITD and DITF due to the even-a-penny catch phrase. It appears that using just the catch phrase might work as well or even better than the sequential request strategy. It is posited that by stooping so low to ask for only a penny closes off all excuses to the average person on the street. It is concluded that the use of this catch phrase might serve just as well in other instances other than monetary donation, perhaps in survey research in asking for only two minutes, or five questions worth of your time. These observations are presented and left to be discovered through further research.


Reingen & Kernan, 1979

Although it was predicted that the FITD strategy would far outweigh the impact of straight requests the FITD strategy failed to produce significantly greater behavioral compliance with second critical request than straight request approaches. Although one of the goals of this study was to test if timing and or selfishness of the request impacted subjects' behaviors this information was not confirmed. It is unclear, whether the type of request or the one-contact interaction had the greater impact. Further research is needed in this area.

The FITD strategy was effective in inducing significantly greater verbal and behavioral compliance than DITF. The results of this study coupled with those of the Tybout (1978) investigation imply that the effects of the concession strategy may not be generalizable to many marketing contexts. In instances of DITF when commercial entities concede to a target no matter the concession it may still be taken as a selfish motive.


Rittle, 1981

The implications of this study are that the behavioral data provides a systematic replication of the foot-in-the--door effect. When subjects initially help a child with a small request, they volunteered significantly more of their time for a later request. The subject's self-report of helpfulness was higher for the experimental condition, but, did not reach standard levels of statistical significance. The correlation between absolute levels of perceptual measures for self and situational perceptions were close to zero.


Seligman, Bush, & Kirsch, 1976

The implications of the results approximate the prediction made by self perception theory. That the larger the size of the first request complied with, the greater the compliance to the second request. The data does not fit in a linear model, but, does demonstrate that the first request must be of sufficient size for the foot-in-the-door technique to work. Compliance with the first request will generalize to compliance with future requests only when the first request is large enough to motivate the individual to make the appropriate dispositional inference. This suggests an explanation for failures to replicate the foot-in-the-door technique.

Scott, 1976

The implications of this research experiment are that behavioral findings replicate and extend previous ones pertaining to foot-in-the-door technique.

From a practical perspective this experiment indicates that the foot-in-the-door strategy will be efficient in modifying behavior provided that the behavior is not too large. It also indicates that change may be achieved through a series of foot-in-the-door operations, each requiring a larger change in behavior, than the one before.

Mere repetition of contact by the same person did not affect subsequent behavior. Those who do not comply with a first request are no more likely to comply with a second request. Indicating that personal communication may be needed to insure initial compliance.


Wagener & Laird, 1980

The results of this study support the self-perception interpretation of the foot-in-the-door phenomenon and they suggest that the phenomenon is not as general as implied by previousresearch.


Zuckerman, Lazzaro, & Waldgeir, 1979

The promise of monetary reward for a small favor may actuallydecrease the level of subsequent generosity. Overjustificationeffects may be examined in research domains other than intrinsic motivation.


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Created February 21, 1996; Last updated February 21, 1996.

SRS Implications


FITD Dimensions: Implications


Tybout, 1978

Persuasion was less effective in the mass media context. Foot-in-the-door was effective in both the in-person and recorded contexts.


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FITD Dimensions: Implications


Cann, Sherman, & Elkes, 1975

Study 1 and Study 2


Results from these studies can lead to hopeful implications. If we know as researchers that factors such as request size and timing play into compliance- gaining effectiveness, we can learn to predict compliance behaviors. Also, with self- perception, if we know that someone has complied to a request of some nature, that may be indicant of whether they will comply to a request concerning similar ideas.


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