Foot In The DoorOpen Access

Foot In The Door

Making a small commitment now makes us more likely to agree to a greater one later

A low cost, unthreatening technique that has the power to increase sales, donations and recruitment, as long as you follow a few rules…

Burger (1999). The foot-in-the-door compliance procedure: A multiple-process analysis and review. Personality and Social Psychology Review.

The study

Setup

88 household individuals were split into three groups and  asked to either wear a badge supporting a  charity, asked to wear one along with another family member or not to wear at all. That same evening, all groups were then asked for a financial donation to the charity.

Results

Those who were first asked the small request were far more likely to go on and donate money than those who weren’t.

Study graph

Key Takeaways

Start with a question promoting reflection on one’s values. Their answers will create a desire to be consistent with their beliefs.

Takeaway image

Have people perform a small related action. e.g. People who put a small “Drive carefully” sign in their window are more likely to follow the instruction than those who merely say they will. Frame it as a social norm.

Takeaway image

Prime the ‘helpful’, ‘cooperative’ ‘supporter’ with positive feedback prior to a future request. 

Takeaway image

Make the target request a continuation of the initial one. The more similar the activity, the greater success. Also balance your request sizes. If the initial request is too big, people won’t do it, never getting to the target request. But too-small tasks will widen the gulf between the two.

Takeaway image
Foot In The Door

Foot In The Door

Making a small commitment now makes us more likely to agree to a greater one later

A low cost, unthreatening technique that has the power to increase sales, donations and recruitment, as long as you follow a few rules…

The study

Setup

88 household individuals were split into three groups and  asked to either wear a badge supporting a  charity, asked to wear one along with another family member or not to wear at all. That same evening, all groups were then asked for a financial donation to the charity.

Results

Those who were first asked the small request were far more likely to go on and donate money than those who weren’t.

study graph
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In detail

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Reciprocity

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We’re hardwired to return kindness received

Framing

Framing

We make very different decisions based on how a fact is presented

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We feel more negative when losing something than positive when we gain it

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We tend to accept the option pre-chosen for us

Anchoring

Anchoring

What we see first affects our judgement of everything thereafter

Fast & Slow Thinking

Fast & Slow Thinking

We make knee-jerk spontaneous decisions that can cause regretful damage

Dynamic Norms

Dynamic Norms

We’re more likely to change if we can see a new behavior developing

Salience

Salience

Our choices are determined by the information we're shown

Connected to

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