SRS Topic Summary: Implications


Having looked at several studies concerning FITD, foot-in-the-door, a sequential request strategy it has become apparent that there are many interesting findings that surface. In looking at the multitude of studies performed on FITD there becomes clear that this strategy has potential for a number of specific situations. This is based upon the variety of manipulated situations and variables that are utilized in a sequential request strategy study. Requests ranging from the manipulation of prior knowledge of compliance to the comparison of lowball techniques have been studied. As well as ones ability to gain compliance to blood donation or the act of harming someone passively, that is failing to perform an asked favor. There has been the manipulation of high and low need conditions in sink with the magnitude and timing of such requests. From helping children requests to what may be construed as selfish corporate requests the studies found within this site have dealt with the many facets of the FITD technique. The following points are several observations that are apparent having analyzed the FITD results of these studies.

Point 1

The overall efffectiveness of the studies has come to measure a success of about 50% in that not every study's hypotheses were confirmed within statistical significance.

Point 2

There is perhaps an explanation to the preceding point and that might very well have to do with the nature of the request. It is proposed that although some of the FITD studies did confrim their expectations those confirmations and negations could be due to what was being asked of the participant. It seems that requests that are perceived as less selfish and those that are being utilized for non profit or any other societal benefit are more likely to produce second larger requests when coupled with a small initial request of the same nature.

Point 3

Finally, there appears to be a discrepancy for the basis of FITD, self-perception theory, for results of 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.

The End

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SRS Researcher: Greg Wight, Department of Communication Studies, West Virginia University
© Greg Wight, Steve Booth-Butterfield, and the SRS Team, 1996
Created February 21, 1996; Last updated February 21, 1996.