Although they are distinct compliance strategies, the “that’s not all” and “door in the face” techniques share a common mechanism. What is it, and how does it work in each case? Provide examples.
Compliance strategies refer to the various techniques employed to persuade individuals to engage in a desired behavior or to influence their decision-making process. Among the numerous compliance strategies identified in social psychology, two frequently studied techniques are the “that’s not all” and “door-in-the-face” strategies. While these strategies have distinct characteristics, they share a common mechanism that drives their effectiveness. This paper aims to explore the common mechanism underlying the “that’s not all” and “door-in-the-face” techniques, and illustrate how they operate through relevant examples.
The Common Mechanism
The common mechanism underlying the “that’s not all” and “door-in-the-face” techniques is known as the reciprocal concessions process. This process capitalizes on the social norm of reciprocity, where individuals feel obligated to provide a concession in response to a concession made by others. Both strategies aim to capitalize on the principle that people are more likely to agree to a request when they perceive that a concession is offered to them.
In the “that’s not all” technique, an initial request is presented to an individual, but before they have a chance to respond, the requester sweetens the deal by adding additional benefits or reducing the cost. This technique plays on the anticipation of reciprocity since the potential recipient might feel that they owe a favor in return for the increased benefits offered. As a result, the individual is more likely to comply with the request due to the perceived concession.
An illustrative example of the “that’s not all” technique can be found in infomercials. Infomercials frequently employ this strategy to promote products by initially offering a product at a certain price; however, before the viewers can decide, the presenter adds extra incentives such as bonus items or a reduced price. This tactic creates a perception of a concession, leading individuals to feel obligated to reciprocate by purchasing the item.
On the other hand, the “door-in-the-face” strategy operates through a slightly different approach. In this technique, a requester makes an initial large and burdensome request that is likely to be rejected. Following the expected refusal, the requester then presents a smaller and more reasonable request, which is the actual target request. This technique exploits the contrast principle, which suggests that the second request will appear more reasonable and acceptable when juxtaposed with a larger, initial request.
An example of the “door-in-the-face” strategy can be demonstrated through a study conducted by Cialdini, Vincent, Lewis, Catalan, Wheeler, and Darby (1975). In their study, the researchers approached university students and requested that they volunteer to serve as counselors for two hours per week over a period of two years. This unrealistic and burdensome request resulted in only 17% of the participants agreeing to comply. However, when the researchers subsequently approached a different group of students and initially requested that they engage in a one-day counseling session at a local zoo, approximately 50% of the participants agreed. The researchers successfully employed the “door-in-the-face” technique by capitalizing on the perceptual contrast between the large initial request and the subsequent smaller request.
In conclusion, the “that’s not all” and “door-in-the-face” techniques are two compliance strategies that share a common mechanism known as the reciprocal concessions process. These techniques leverage the social norm of reciprocity, where individuals feel obligated to provide a concession in response to a concession made by others. The “that’s not all” technique utilizes the anticipation of reciprocity by making an initial request and then sweetening the deal with additional benefits. On the other hand, the “door-in-the-face” strategy employs the contrast principle by making an initial large request that is likely to be refused, followed by a smaller request which is the actual target request. By understanding the common mechanism underlying these strategies and their persuasive techniques, individuals can become more aware of the tactics used to influence their decision-making process.