FITD Dimensions: Procedure


Cann, Sherman, & Elkes, 1975

Study 1


A male experimenter contacted the subjects by phone, and said he was a member of a local group which supported traffic safety. Depending on which of the five experimental groups the subject was put, he/she was asked for compliance of some sort. After the request, the experimenter either informed the subject that he would call them back or he immediately asked a subsequent request (if the subject complied to the initial request. When an experimenter called someone after 7-10 days, he was blind to the size of request the subject initially received. This was done to eliminate experimenter bias.


Cann, Sherman, & Elkes, 1975

Study 2

The same was done as in Study 1, except new experimenter(s) were used because although the experimenter(s) in Study 1 were nlind to the initial request size, he was aware of the time delay of subsequent requests.


Baron, 1973

Subjects in two different experimental groups were approached in their homes on two occasions. First, they were either asked to comply with a small or moderate task. They were later (after one week) asked to comply with a much larger task. Individuals in the control condition were approached only once and were asked to comply with the large request. Also, sex of the requester was manipulated. Some subjects were approached by males, others by females, to see if sex of requester had an effect on compliance-gaining.


Beaman, Svanum, Manlove, & Hampton, 1974

Three conditions of perceived prior compliance were used(none, half, or all). Of the 80 subjects in each perceived prior compliance condition, half received the low reactance insertion; the other half received the high insertion message.


Cialdini, & Ascani, 1976

Experimenters (5 male, 4 female) asked same-sex subjects for compliance using one of the three experimental conditions. Experimenters were all college age and were blind to the experimental hypotheses.


Cialdini, Cacioppo, Bassett, & Miller, 1978

The study was done using a foot-in-the-door group, a low-ball group, and a control group. Each group received a similar request which was structured to fit the specific group type. The experimenter went door to door in the dormitory.


Dejong, 1981

Subjects randomly assigned to be in one of the three experimental conditions were first contacted by a male experimenter over the telephone. The procedures entailed calls which made either on a Monday or Tuesday evening, between 7:00 and 9:30 p.m. Those wishing to participate were asked five simple questions. At the completion of the survey, the subjects were thanked for their time. Subjects were called two nights later by one of the two female experimenters, who represented herself as a member of a second citizen's group. Subjects were asked to participate in another survey, one which would be much time consuming than the first. Subjects were asked to compile a list of local residents wishing to participate in the survey. The survey would actually be conducted in the near future.


Dejong & Funder, 1977

The procedures entailed that each subject was contacted by a female experimenter over the telephone and asked to participate in a survey for a local civic group. Subjects in the incentive condition we offered $2 in exchange for their participation at the start of the conversation, while subjects in the unexpected incentive group were offered the $2 at the end of the conversation. Two days after the first call, the same subjects were contacted over the telephone by a different female experimenter. Also the control group was telephoned for the first time for thesecond request. Subjects willing to participate were told that the survey would be conducted some time in the near future.


Fish & Kaplan, 1974

The procedures included that all four initial contact groups were reguested to comply with one of the two criterion behaviors discussed, which was voluntering time or money. The 59 "essay-writing FITD" were given the opportunity to volunteer their services to a welfare agency. "Listening to talk" and control groups were given the opportunity to volunteer to a welfare agency while remaining subjects were reguested to contribute money to the poverty program. Volunteering time, services to a welfare agency, and contributing money to a welfare agency were used as the functional and demanding criterion behaviors. One to two weeks after the first FITD contact, a second female experimentor working in connection with the Central Volunteer Bureau, a welfare agency in Detroit community, approached 38 subjects for money contributions and the other 133 subjects were approached with an appeal for volunteers. This second experimentor was blind to the initial treatment condition each of the groups had received as well as to the nature of the study.


Foss and Dempsey: Study 2, 1979

Those selected for each experimental group were contacted by telephone and asked to comply with one of the following requests.The control group was simply asked if they would be willing to donate blood. A small request experimental group was asked if they were willing to answer a few questions regarding blood donation. Those who agreed were asked five questions which included the wether they had ever donated blood before. Those in the minimal-then-critical request experimental group were asked to let the blood organization put a poster on their door which would advertise the location of their bloodmobile. If they agreed, they were asked the location of their room, their age, and if they had ever donated blood before. The extreme-then-critical request group was asked if they would be willing to recruit 4 friends to donate blood at the upcoming bloodmobile visit. Those who complied were asked their age and if they had ever donate d blood. On the nights prior to the bloodmobile visit, all of the participants were called by a different experimenter who informed them of the upcoming visit and asked them if they would be willing to donate blood. Those who said yes were told the location and the time of the bloodmobile visit.


Foss & Dempsey Study 1, 1979

Two female experimenters individually approached selected rooms between 6:00 and 10:00 p.m. and made their initial request to the person who answered the door. Persons who agreed to comply with the initial request were given a poster that stated the time, place, and the date of the bloodmobile visit and that contained the American Red Cross logo. The experimenter took the subjects name and recorded his or her sex and then thanked the person for their help. Those who did not want to help were thanked for listening. If no one answered the door of a preselected room, another room on the hall was randomly selected. The timing of a initial and critical request was manipulated by making the initial request on the Wednesday (5-day delay), Friday (3-day delay) or Monday evening (no delay) prior to the bloodmobile visit. In the 5-day and 3-day delay condition, persons were asked by a differents experimenter if they were willing to donate blood. In the no-delay condition, after the person had complied with the initial request, the experimenter continued with the critical request. In the control condition, persons were simply contacted for the first time on Monday evening proceding the bloodmobile visit and asked if they would donate blood.


Foss & Dempsey: Study 2, 1979

During routine initial request, subjects were asked to answer few questions about blood donation. If they agreed, they were asked five questions. During poster request, subjects were asked to allow blood organization to put a poster on their dormitory room door to advertise the bloodmobile visit. If they agreed, information about the location of their room was obtained as well as their age, and whether they had ever donated blood. The final upcomming bloodmobile visit. If they agreed, they were told to call four friends, tell them that the bloodmobile would be on campus following Monday and Thuesday, and ask them to donate. Experimental subjects as well as the members of the control group were then contacted on the following Sunday and Monday and informed that the bloodmobile would be on campus for two days. They were asked if they would be willing to donate a unit of blood. In this study, there were three experimental condition ranging from a small initial request to a moderate initial request to a large initial request. There was also a control group with no initial request.


Foss & Dempsey: Study 3, 1979

Five to six days prior to the blood mobile visit, reseach participants were contacted in person by an experimenter who delivered on of three initial requests to whomever answered the door of a choosen dormitory room. Depending on the condition the room had been assigned, the participants were asked a routine initial request, poster request, or a large initial request. Those who were asked a routine initial request were asked to answer six or seven questiones about their knowledge of and experience with blood donation. Participants who were asked a poster request were asked if they would put a poster on their door to advertise the bloodmobile visit on campus. Those subjects who were assigned to the large initial request condition were asked to recruit four friends to donate blood. Persons who agreed to the requests were asked the questiones, given the poster, or told how to recruit friends. The subjects were then asked their names and if they had ever donated blood. Records were kept of all of those who reported conditions that legitimately disqualified them from donating blood. On the evening proceding the bloodmobile visit, all subjects who had received an initial request and the persons in the control group were contacted by a different experimener and asked to donate blood the following day. If they agreed, they were reminded of the time and place and told to eat a good meal before they came to donate. Everybody was thanked for his or her time.


Freedman & Fraser Study 1, 1966

Subjects were randomly assigned to four conditions. Those conditions were : Performance condition, Agree-Only condition, Familiarization condition, and One-Contact only condition. The Familiarization condition was added to the design after the other three condition had been completed. All contacts were by telephoneand all calls were made by the same experimenter who identified himself as the same person each time. All calls were made in the morning. For the three groups that were contacted twice, the first call was made either on Monday or Thuesday and the second call was always made three days later. All large requests were made on Thursday or Friday. The subjects in the first condition (Performance condition) were called and asked some questiones. In the second condition (Agree-Only condition) the subjects were only told that the researcher were lining up respondents for the survey and the subject would be contacted later. The subjects in the third condition (Familiarization condition) were called and told about the organization the experimenter said he worked for and the survey they were conducting, listed the questiones he was asking, and then said that he was only letting her know of the existence of the organization.


Freedman & Fraser Study 2, 1966

The 112 subjects were divided into five conditions. All subjects were contacted between 1:30 and 4:30 on weekday afternoons. Two experimenters, one female and one male, were employed and a different one always made the second request. They went to the home of the subjects and interviewed them on a face-to-face basis. An effort was made to select neighborhoods that were as homogeneous as possible. On each block every third to fourth house was approached, and all subjects on that block were in one experimental condition. In addition, for everu four subjects, a fith house was selected as a control condition, but that household was not contacted. The experimenters did not communicate with each other what conditions had been run on a given block nor what condition a particular house was in. The small-sign, safe-driving experimental condition was asked to put a sign on their car as a reminder of a safe driving. The other three experimental groups were approached by Keeping California Beautiful Committee and subjects were asked to put a sign on their lawn. Two petition groups were asked to sign a petition which was being sent to California's United States Senators. The petition advocated support for any legislation to promote either safe driving or keeping California beautiful. The second contact was made two weeks later. At the second contact all subjects were asked the same thing which was whether or not they would be willing to install a sign in their yard stating "Drive Carefully" for one week. They were told that someone would install it and remove it at the end of the week. The experimenter recorded the subjects response.


Furse, Stewart, & Rados, 1981

The procedures included that all members of the sample were mailed questionnaires on attitudes and usage of long distance telephone services, demographic characteristics of the respondent, and several promotional and advertising concepts. A university was identified as the sponsoring organization. All participants who had not returned the questionnaire within three weeks of the original mailing were sent follow-up letters and another survey. The cutoff date for returning the surveys was three weeks after the follow-up letter were sent out.

The sample was initially divided into three treatment groups. Group 1 was a control group consisting of 294 subjects. No contact was made with these individuals prior to their receipt of the survey, no was any incentive provided for participating in the study. Group 2 also received no contact prior to the receipt of the survey, but the 294 subjects in this group did receive the 50 cent incentive enclosed with the survey for participating in the study. Subjects in group 3 were induced to respond to the survey by means of a FITD procedure. The subjects in group 3 were contacted by telephone prior to the receipt of the survey and asked to answer a brief series of agree/disagree questions about telephone usage patterns. Of the 214 subjects contacted only 28 (13%) declined the interview. All subjects contacted received the survey regardless of whether they agreed to the telephone interview.

One-half of all nonrespondents in each of the three original groups received a follow-up mailing that included another survey and a 50 cent incentive. The other nonrespondents received only a follow-up letter and another copy of the survey. This resulted in a total of six distinct treatment condition s: control/control-no incentive for responding either to the original survey or the follow-up mailing, control/incentive-no incentive for responding to the original survey, but did receive a n incentive with the follow-up mailing, foot/control-received the FITD treatment prior to the mailing and no incentive in the follow-up mailing, foot/incentive-same as group 3 but did receive the incentive in the follow-up mailing, incentive/control- received an incentive with the original mailing but no incentive in the follow-up mailing, and incentive/incentive-received an incentive with both mailings.


Hansen & Robinson, 1980

Six-hundred questionnaires were mailed out to subjects (100 in subjects in each treatment). Two-hundred questionnaires were mailed to a random group of subjects without any prior notification. The remaining 400 were mailed after an initial telephone call was made. Interviewers made telephone calls to equal numbers of subjects in each of the four prior notification treatments. Potential subjects were screened by asking whether they had bought a car within the last three years. If they said that they had, they were asked to answer some basic questiones regarding their perceptions toward automobile dealers. A five minutes limit was set for this interview. At the end of the five minutes, subjects were asked if they would be willing to participate in the mail survey portion of this study. The same quetiones were asked in the high and low involvement treatments with the difference being the way the question was asked. In the low involvement interviews, the subjects were read a statement and asked whether or not they agreed with it. They were also asked why they felt the way they did about the statement. Once the subject had been screened, that person received a copy of the questionnaire in the mail regardless whether or not they had agreed to participate. The questionnaire was mailes within three days after the initial contact. A second wave of questionnaires was sent to all subjects who had not responded to the first questionnaure within 10 days.


Harris, 1972

Subjects were stopped on the street and asked some altruistic requests. Depending on the question, the subjects were devided into Time condition, Direction condition or Dime condition. When the subjects in theTime or Direction condition were asked the question, the experimenter repeated the questions in neutral tone before requesting the dime. No other words were spoken by the experimenter until after the subject had responded or failed to respond to the request fot the dime. Each experimenter ran six subjects, one man and one woman in each experimental condition. Location varied from shopping centers to busy streets.


Harris, Liguori & Stack Study 3, 1973

Experimenter A randomly assigned 20 subjects to the Favor conditions, 20 to the Bribe conditions, and 20 to Control condition 1. Experimenter B assigned 30 subjects randomly to the Favor condition, 30 to the Bribe condition, and 20 to Control condition 1 and 2. Sex and ethnic background was recorded based on the subject's voice, and names were recorded as well. The subjects in all conditions were read an ecology speech. Subjects in Control condition 1 were then asked directly how many cookies they were willing to donate. The subjects in the other conditions were told of the congressman's interest and were requested to permit their name to be sent to him (Favor condition), offered the chance to have their name sent (Bribe condition), or not told anything about their name being sent ( Control condition 2). All subjects were then asked how much they were willing to donate. Subjects in Control condition 2 were told of the congressional delegation's interest in the matter, making it identical to the Favor and Bribe condition with the exeption of mentioning that the subjects name would be sent to the congressman. Nineteen of 179 people called did not permit the experimenters to reach the point of differential treatment and were not considered as subjects.


Harris & Samerotte, 1976

Experiment 1

In all conditions except the control condition the subjects were approached by an experimenter and were politely asked to perform a task as stated in a message. If they conceded the experimenter left as if to go to the bathroom or to get some food. After a couple of minutes subjects, who were randomly assigned to conditions, in this case the Stop Thief condition, saw a supposed thief, another experimenter, noisily attempt to steal the belong ings the subject was watching. All subjects in this condition verbally stopped the thief from taking the goods and the experimenter thief went about his way. After the thief had disappeared the original requestor returned. He thanked the subject for watching the goods. Next depending upon the experimental conditions they were in, subjects were addressed once again either by the original requestor (Stop Thief Same) or another experimenter (Stop Thief Different). The requestor now asked the subject if they would donate some money to the experimenter for some food. There was another set of predetermined conditions either (High Need) or (Low Need). This determined what the requestor said that the money was for. In the high need condition the money would go for milk and a sandwich. In the low need it would go for a coke and a piece of cake. If the subject donated he was thanked and debriefed. If he did not concede then he was asked another request. Regardless of response to the third request all subjects were then debriefed.

Subjects in the Thief Same and Thief Different had the same prior interaction with the original requestor as did those subjects in Stop Thief conditions. However, instead of letting himself be caught, in these conditions the thief another experimenter waited until the subject looked away from the goods he was watching and then stole the goods under his coat. Once the original requestor returned he said in a surprised voice my radio is gone. Immediately thereafter either the original experimenter or another experimenter asked the subject for money either high need or low need. The subjects in the control conditions were simply approached by an experimenter and asked for money.

Experiment 2

Same initial procedures as in experiment 1 in regards to carrying out the initial request to watch goods. In the Stop Thief conditions the experimenter thief began to pick up the goods pretended as if the subject had prevented the theft, placed the goods back and disappeared just as in experiment 1. The rest of this condition follow ed identically to experiment 1. However, this did not happen in the No-Thief Same conditions, the initial requestor simply returned from where he was and thanked the subject for watching the goods. Next the experimenter asked the subject for a specific amount of money. If the subject did not comply then he was asked again for anything. In the No-Thief Different conditions the initial requestor thanked the subject went about his way, while another different experimenter asked the subject for the monetary donation. Subjects in the control condition as previously were just asked directly for money without prior requests.


Reingen & Kernan, 1979

Each experimenter was given a list of names and telephone numbers and each completed an average of 15 interviews, 3 per weekday. Subjects in the initial telephone contact conditions were called between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. The experimenter introduced him- or herself as representing a fictitious market research organization. The names of each subject was recorded so as to later measure behavioral compliance. Just as each experimenter had a list of subjects those subjects were each assigned to one of the following four conditions.

1) Critical-request-only (initial telephone contact) control group condition 2) Small-initial-request condition 3) Large-initial-request condition 4) Critical-request-only (no telephone contact) control group condition

In group 1) if a subject consented to the initial message, he or she was told that a 6 page questionnaire would be sent in a few days. This consent was indicative of verbal compliance with the critical request. In group 2) if the subject agreed to the initial request the following four questions were asked: 1 "Do you consume soft drinks in your household?", 2 "How many different brands do you usually consume?", 3 "Which brand do you personally prefer?", 4 "How many members does your household have?" After gaining this information the experimenter then asked the subject at this time about gaining information on their reaction to cars. The remainder of the procedure was identical to that of the critical-request-only In group 3) if the subjects agreed they were then told that a list of all complied was being complied and that if their help was needed they would be called back to set up an appointment. At this point regardless of the subjects compliance with the initial interview request the experimenter asked in the same way as in the other groups if the subject was interested in providing their reaction to cars. If they agreed to that then the subject was informed the questionnaire would be sent out shortly. Within three days of the initial telephone contact subjects were mailed a cover letter. the 6 page questionnaire, and a return envelope. The address of the false marketing company was printed on the outside of the envelope to insure realism. The cover letter informed them that strict anonymity would be maintained. The sequence of the first six questions was varied so as to determine who was in which condition. The number of returned questionnairres measured behavioral compliance. Group 4) subjects were sent the six page questionnaire identical to that of the other groups, however, without having any previous telephone contact or written discussion. There was an attempt to keep control groups and treatment groups similar. That is the researchers wanted similar people in the groups. This was attempted through the use of wrong number calls, in order to assess who is home at what time etc. Subjects were called between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. at least one week before mailing the questionnaire. The caller apologized for the mistaken number and then proceeded to address the questionnaire to the person who answered the phone. As with the other groups the returned and completed questionnaire served to measure behavioral compliance.


Pliner, et al., 1974

The area assigned to be covered contained 108 houses; each house was randomly assigned to one of three experimental conditions. There were three strengths of intial requests. A small request, a moderate request, and no prior request. Houses which had originally been assigned either to the small or moderate initial request condition but at which no one answered the door on the evening the experimental conditions were established were eliminated from the experiment. On the evening following the establishment of the initial request conditions the experimenter who was blind to the conditions went to each house to collect donations and gave a standard message.


Rittle, 1981

In the experimental condition the procedure had a candy and soft drink machine placed in a subject waiting area. The candy machine had a quirk. To purchase a 20 cent piece of candy, one had to use the exact change of one dime and two nickels. This was stated on a 6cm by 9cm label located above the coin slot. The chair on which most subjects were waiting was 2m in front and .3m to the right of the label.

4 minutes prior to the subjects appointment, an 8 year-old white male approached the candy machine, placed two dimes in the machine, pulling three times on the knob of his first choice. When this was unsuccessful, he pulled three other knobs one time each. If, by this time, the subject had not spontaneously offered help, the child turned, and politely requested assistance. As the subject rose, the child pointed to the coin slot, indicating that he had inserted two dimes. When the child had the correct change, he asked the subject to get it for him. The interaction took no more than 2 minutes.

In the control condition the child continued past the candy machine, returning to his room via a different route. The adult experimenter was blind as to the experimental condition of the subject.


Seligman, Bush, & Kirsch, 1976

The procedures included 3 undergraduate psychology majors acting as experimenters. Each experimenter administered all treatments for the initial contct. Each experimenter was given a list of names and telephone numbers. All subjects were initially contacted during the same evening, between 7:15 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. Each subject was asked for by name. The experimenter noted the sex of the subject for purposes of future identification for the second call. After a brief introduction, the experimenter mentioned he was conducting a survey about peoples attitudes to ward the energy crisis and inflation. The subject was told that many people were required to make the survey valid. The subject was asked if he/she would help by answering several questions for the survey. This they were informed would take a couple of minutes. The size of the first request was manipulated by asking different groups of subjects to answer either 5, 20, 30, or 45 short-answer (yes or no) questions for the survey. If the subject agreed, the questions were asked. Subjects who refused to answer the specified number of questions were thanked for listening.

A control group was contacted for the initial request. Two days after the initial request all subjects were called again, making a second request:In a manner, not to provoke the subject into revealing his/her condition. The experimenter asked to speak to the initial contact person, introduced himself as doing a survey, on consumer reaction to the energy crisis and inflation. Subjects were asked to complete the survey, by answering 55 more questions. The subjects answer was the dependent measure. If the subject said no, he/she was thanked. If the subject said yes, the experimenter fumbled for a few seconds, appeared distressed, and said he had misplaced the questionnaire and would call back at some later date. The subject was thanked for his/her cooperation.


Scott, 1976

The procedures included, subjects in the experimental condition being contacted at home, by one of five college student experimenters. Depending upon the treatment to which they were randomly assigned, subjects were offered either no incentive, $1, or $3 to comply. For each person contacted, the experimenter identified him/herself and presented an initial request message.

In the incentive conditions, the experimenter said that the group would pay them $1 ($3) for their cooperation. If the person agreed, he/she was given the sign, discussed in the initial message request, and thanked for his/her help. Half of the subjects in each group were asked their reactions to the request. This was presentd by the experimenter expressing another message. Subsequent to the experimenters message, the subjects were once again thanked and the experimenter left. After leaving, the experimenter recorded the address, the person contacted (male/female) and whether or not they agreed to take the sign.

Two weeks later, a different experimenter returned and delivered the second request, to pack 25 or 75 envelopes for a recycling publicity campaign. The experimenters could show subjects the letter to be enclosed. The experimenter was unaware of the subjects first request status. Subjects in the double incentive condition were offered an extra $3 to comply. Some, previously uncontacted persons in the neighborhood were contacted, and, asked to participate with only a moderate or large request.


Tybout, 1978

Participants were informed that the District Office was showing a film on a new health care plan that would soon be available to them. They were then asked if they would be willing to view the film. In experiment 1, when the participants went into the room to view the film, a experimenter introduced herself as either having high or low credibility (the independent variable). In experiment 2, the participants listened to a recorded message which accompanied the film instead of hearing in-person about the source's credibility.


Wagener & Laird, 1980

The subjects were divided into two groups: the questionnaire-first group and the solicitation-first group. The questionnaire-firstgroup answered a questionnaire prior to being asked to join theexperiment. The solicitation- first group was asked to join theexperiment prior to filling out the questionnaire.


Zuckerman, Lazzaro, & Waldgeir, 1979

A female experimenter contacted the subjects on weekdays, between 1:00pm and 3:00pm. If a man answered the phone, the experimenter asked for the lady of the house. Her name was then recorded as to ask for her when calling back for the second request. Two to threedays after the initial request, a different female experimentercalled the housewives again on a weekday, between 1:00pm and3:00pm.


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