Door in the Face Technique
Door in the face technique refers to a compliance method that is very common in social psychology studies. The technique entails attempts by persuaders to convince respondents to comply by making large requests that respondents are highly likely to turn down. It is more of a metaphorical door slamming on the face of the persuader. There are high chances of respondents agreeing to the second and more reasonable requests as compared to similar reasonable requests reached in isolation.
In door in the face technique, a larger request precedes a certain request. Refusal of a first request combined with apparent concession on the requester’s part make people highly likely to accept the second request feeling that making a concession independently is the noblest thing.
This technique is a strategy that is used to gain concession or compliance. After having the first request turned down, the requester counteroffers it with a more reasonable request that is hard to turn down. For instance, you want to apply for a two weeks no-pay leaves on a busy month. In that case, you approach the manager asking for a one month leave. The manager rejects the request and then you cut the request down to three weeks and then to two weeks. The manager will most likely approve the two weeks no-pay leaves after rejecting the first two requests.
Conmen also use the door in the face technique. For instance, a conman may approach you asking for you to help him with $50. After rejecting him, he will continue begging you until when you give him a smaller amount.
Door in the face technique is a contrast of foot in the door technique. In this technique, persuaders start with small requests and then increase the demands of the requests gradually. This technique although different, increases the chances of the respondents agreeing to the second requests.
Several studies have been done to determine whether the door in the face technique is really effective due to social responsibility or reciprocal concessions. Reciprocal concession explanation is common and it entails reciprocity or simply put the need for compliance on the side of the respondent to smaller second requests since the persuader compromises from the first request.
Social responsibility explanation entails the internal standards and the essence of assisting others and making respondent feel that they have to comply with the second smaller requests. Other explanations of door in the face technique effect entail reducing guilt and maintaining positive self-presentation.
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