Article

Evocation of freedom and compliance : the « but you are free of... » technique

Current Research in Social Psychology 09/2000; 5(18):264-270.

ABSTRACT Many investigations showed that the semantic characteristics of a request could lead to more
compliance. A feeling of freedom is also a factor favoring compliance to numerous types of
requests. An experiment was carried out, in which the evocation of freedom was formulated
verbally, following a demand for money made by confederates. Results show that the verbal
incentive used (demand for money + "but you are free to accept or to refuse") increased the
rate of subjects’ compliance as well as the average amount of granted gifts. The semantic
activation of the feeling of freedom is discussed within the framework of numerous paradigms
of research on compliance.

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