SRS Topic Summary: Procedure


FITD Procedures

The foot-in-the-door experiments which are included in this discussion have four basic procedures: telephone contacts, in-person contacts, mail contacts, and contact procedure not reported. This summary is separated according to the major contact procedure utilized.

FITD Telephone Contacts

Freedman & Fraser Study 1, 1966, made both contacts via the telephone. The same experimenter made the first as well as the second contact, which occurred three days after the first. Subjects were randomly assigned into one of four conditions: Performance condition, Agre-Only condition, Familiarization condition, and One-Contact only condition.

The Reingen & Kernan, 1979, had four conditions into which experiments placed subjects during the intial telephone conversation. The four conditions were: critical-request-only (initial telephone contact) control group condition, small-initial-request condition, large-initial-request condition, and critical-request-only (no telephone contact) control group condition. Within three days of the initial telephone contact, subjects were mailed a cover letter, a six-page questionnaire, and a return envelope.

Reingen & Kernan, 1977, also made requests via telephone contacts. The initial request involved four conditions. Those in each of the treatment groups received the following: Group A ($5 incentive, 35 questions asked), Group B ($5 incentive, 5 questions asked), Group C (no incentive, 35 questions asked), and Group D (no incentive, 5 questions asked). The second request was made through another calling to the subjects approximately seven to nine days after the initial request by a different experimenter.

Selegman, Bush, & Kirsch, 1976, contacted their subjects via the telephone. They requested that the subjects answer questions on a survey concerning the energy crisis and inflation. The length of the survey was the manipulated variable. A second request was made via telephone two days later. This request was that the subjects answer 55 more questions concerning the energy crisis and inflation.

Zuckerman, Lazzaro, & Waldgeir, 1979, had a female experimenter contact only females at home via the telephone. Two to three days later the second request was made over the telephone by a different female experimenter.

FITD In-person Contacts

Freedman & Fraser Study 2, 1966, used two experimenters, one male and one female, to contact subjects in their homes. The first request was either to put a small, safe driving sign in their car, put a Keep California Beautiful sign in their lawn, sign a petition concerning safe driving to be sent to California's United States Senators, or sign a petition concerning keeping California beautiful which would also be sent to the state's senators. The second request was made by the opposite experimenter as the first request. At the second request, all subjects were asked if they would be willing to install in their yard a sign stating "Drive Carefully" for one week.

Harris, 1972, had experimenters stop subjects on the street. Subjects were asked if they could give the time, directions, or a dime. Those which were asked for the time or directions were subsequently asked for a dime.

Harris & Samerotte, 1976, had experimenters approach subjects in their homes. The three conditions included small request, moderate request, and no prior request. On the evening following the initial request, a different experimenter went to each house to collect donations and gave a standard message.

Reingen, 1978, used four male and four female college students as experimenters. Each experimenter stopped same sex subjects on the pathways of the university. There were seven conditions which the subjects could be assigned: donation request only; small-then-donation request; extreme-then-donation request; even-a-penny; small-then-donation request, even a penny; extreme-then-donation request, even a penny; and volunteer-request only control. Four weeks later, the small-then-donation request, even-a-penny, and volunteer-request only control groups were repeated with a different population.

Rittle, 1981, used an eight-year old boy as the confederate. The boy went to a candy machine, but didn't have the correct change. After inserting the wrong change and pulling four knobs, the boy asks the subject for assistance if it was not previously offered. When the child gets correct change, he asks the subject to get the candy for him.

Scott, 1976, contacted people at home. The experimental groups consisted of no incentive, $1 incentive, and $3 incentive. The subjects were asked to place a sign in their yard. Two weeks later a different experimenter asked the subjects to pack 25-75 envelopes for a recycling publicity campaign. The double incentive subjects were offered an extra $3 for the second request.

Tybout, 1978, recruited subjects from the health clinic. In experiment 1, the experimenters credibility was manipulated by telling the subjects in person that his/her credibility was high or low prior to watching a health care film. In experiment 2, subjects listened to a recorded message which accompanied the health care film. No experimenter was present in the second experiment.

FITD Mailed Contacts

Furse, Stewart, & Rados, 1981, mailed subjects questionnaires concerning their attitudes and usage of long distance telephone services. All participants who had not returned the questionnaire within three weks 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 was sent out. One group received a 50 cent incentive with the survey. Another group was contacted by telephone prior to the receipt of the survey and asked to answer a brief series of agreee/disagree questions. The third group had no prior contact. 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 half simply received the follow-up survey.

Hansen & Robinson, 1980, initially contacted 400 subjects via telephone. Subsequently, 600 subjects were mailed questionnaires. The questionnaire was mailed within three days after the initial contact. A second wave of questionnaires was sent to all subjects who had not responded to the first questionnaire within ten days.

FITD Contact Procedure Not Reported

Harris, Liguori & Stack Study 3, 1973, randomly assigned subjects to either the favor, bribe, or control condition. Subjects were read an ecology speech. Despite the first request, the second was a monetary donation.

Wagener & Laird, 1980, placed subjects into either the questionnaire-first or solicitation-first group. The subjects were then either solicited to participate in an experiment or asked to complete the questionnaire.

DITF Procedures

The door-in-the-face experiments which are included in this discussion have three basic procedures: telephone contacts, in-person contacts, and contact procedure not reported. This summary is separated according to the major contact procedure utilized.

DITF Telephone Contacts

Miller etal., 1976,
had the experimenter contact subjects via telephone. During this conversation, the experimenter made either the initial request followed by a second request or only the initial request. The conditions present were: yielding plus gaining, yielding-only, gaining-only, and control.

Reingen & Kernan, 1979, contacted subjects via the telephone. The three conditions were: large-initial- request, critical-request-only (initial telephone contact), and critical-request-only (no initial contact). A 6-page survey was subsequently mailed to the subjects.

DITF In-person Contacts

Cialdini & Ascani, 1976, had their experimenters approach only same sex subjects. The control group was given an initial introduction and then asked to donate blood the following day. The experimental group was asked to display a card concerning blood donation prior to being asked to give blood. Those in the extreme request group were contacted to see if they would be willing to participate in a long-term blood donation program.

Even-Chen, Yinon, & Bizman: Study 1, 1978, used a senior undergraduate male as their experimenter. He approached subjects walking alone on campus in the daylight hours. One experimental group was asked to make a 20-minute drive to the National Council for the Prevention of Auto Accidents' office to pick up brochures for distribution. A second group was asked to observe traffic at a certain intersection at a specified time. A third group was asked to participate in a training session for 2 hours per week for 2 years. The small request which the groups received was to distribute literature.

Even-Chen, Yinon, & Bizman: Study 2, 1978, used the same basic requests as in Study 1. However, the training session group in this study was asked to participate for 2 hours per week for 6 months.

Foss & Dempsey: Study 3, 1979, contacted subjects in-person. Subjects were initially asked to recruit four friends to donate blood. The night before the blood drive, an experimenter who acted ignorant approached the subjects and requested that they donate blood.

Reingen, 1978, used four male and four female college students as experimenters. They approached only same-sex subjects. Each experimenter completed four replication for seven conditions.

Shanab & O'Neill, 1980, asked subjects to come to a specified location. The three conditions were: yield only, gain only, and control. The yielding only condition was such that the subject should have perceived that the experimenter was conceding. The gaining only condition was such that the target should have perceived that he/she was gaining. In the control condition, the subjects were asked only to participate in the study that involved shocking rats.

DITF Contact Procedure Not Reported

Goldman & Creason, 1981, placed subjects in one of three conditions. The "two face" procedure group received two hard requests and then the target. The "face" procedure received one hard request and then the target. The control group received only the target request.

Mowen & Cialdini, Study 1, 1980, used six experimenters, four men and two women. They divided the subjects into three main conditions. In the very large first request group, two hours of time was asked for, then one, then the target request. In the large group, an hour of time was asked for, then the target request. In the no first request group, the target request was the only one asked.

Mowen & Cialdini, Study 2, 1980, had three conditions. The first factor (ceiling factor) manipulated the length of time subjects were told the survey would require. A second survey was either not mentioned (control group), described as part of the overall survey (clear concession condition), or described as a different survey (ambiguous concession condition).

The End

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For information or
SRS Researcher: Jennifer Brown, Department of Communication Studies, West Virginia University
& copy; Jennifer Brown, Steve Booth-Butterfield, and the SRS Team, 1996
Created February 21, 1996; Last updated February 21, 1996.