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The Door In The Face Method Essay

1162 words - 5 pages

There are multiple types of persuasion and compliance gaining techniques that we utilize everyday in order to influence others, whether we do so consciously or sub-consciously. One of the most popular means of persuading others is the Door-In-The-Face method. This method consists of making a large request that will most likely be turned down. After the initial appeal is turned down, the persuader will offer a smaller request to the respondent, or the person who is being persuaded. The smaller request must precede the larger request in order to be effective. This method has been proven to be a very successful compliance method. According to Tusing and Dillard, “Door-In-The-Face has been found to increase compliance with the target request, compared to control conditions where only the target request is made,” (Tusing & Dillard, 2000, p. 5). The respondents are more willing to comply after being offered the smaller request, because in contrast to the large, initial request, the second request seems much more smaller and manageable. If the second request was offered alone, it would not produce the same effect.
In order to achieve the desired outcome with the Door-in-the-Face method, there are certain criteria that must be met. According to lecture, the first request must be substantial, but not so large that it seems implausible to the respondent. A study by Even-Chen, Yinon, and Bizman found that, “a large, but not inordinately large, initial request increase the chance of compliance with the subsequent critical request” (Even-Chen, Yinon & Bizman, 1978, p. 135). The respondents must believe that it is a reasonable request in order to take it seriously. Next, the persuasion attempt is most effective when it is made between two friends or relatives. When the respondent denies the persuader’s first request, they are afraid of altering their relationship and feel overwhelmed with guilt. In his study, Millar discovered that, “the acceptance of the small request allowed participants to anticipate a large reduction in guilt,” so they were more likely to comply (Millar, 2002, p.666). Finally, a brief amount of time should pass between the two requests. However, if the persuader waits too long to make the second request, the initial request will be forgotten about, altering the success of the persuasion attempt. While there are many different explanations and criteria for the Door-In-The-Face method, they all aid in the effectiveness and the success of the persuasion attempts.
Last January, I attempted to put this compliance gaining technique to the test. My friends and I wanted to go to South Padre, Texas for Spring Break and I knew my parents were going to hesitate before they let me travel 24 hours with 15 girls. While we were planning our vacation, we were torn between going to Texas and going to Cancun, Mexico. The safety in Cancun is questionable compared to staying in the United States, and my parents would often mention how unsafe the Mexican...

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