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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    ABSTRACT: Compliance-without-pressure techniques have been widely studied in North America and West Europe. Among these techniques, the “but you are free” (BYAF) is a verbal compliance procedure that solicits someone to comply with a request by simply telling a person that he or she is free to accept or refuse the request. This technique is interpreted with the commitment theory and the psychological reactance theory which are more relevant in individualistic cultures than in collectivist cultures. So, four studies compared the efficiency of the BYAF technique in collectivist cultures (Ivory Coast, Russia, and China) and in individualist cultures (France and Romania). As suggested in the hypothesis, our analysis indicated that the BYAF technique will be much less successful in more collectivist cultures. Such results underline the importance of considering specific cultural contexts in social influence studies.
    Cross-Cultural Research 10/2012; 46(4):394-416. DOI:10.1177/1069397112450859 · 0.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: One of the main questions in the field of education is: how to get students or children to behave the way their parents or teachers wish. The aim of the present article is to try to answer this question, proposing an educative approach based on the psychology of commitment. The interests of this approach, called Pedagogy of Commitment are: (1) it increases the chances of obtaining without imposing, and, specially, (2) it favors the internalization of educative, family and citizenship values. Besides that, this pedagogy has the merit of being in line with the experimental social psychology. Some techniques which allow to raise the probability of seeing someone freely do what is expected from them are evoked: the "foot-in-the-door technique" (foot-in-the-door with explicit demand; foot-in-the-door with label); the technique of "touch" and the technique of "you are free to…". The article ends with four principles of action, susceptible to optimize the educative practices: the principle of freedom, the principle of primacy of action, the principle of naturalization and the principle of denaturalization.
    Psicologia Teoria e Pesquisa 04/2006; 22(1):35-42.
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    ABSTRACT: In order to ascertain whether or not child pedestrians voluntarily take risks, a street-crossing task in an urban environment with vehicle traffic was administered individually to 80 children aged 10 years using a pedestrian simulator. The task, which was presented as a contest, consisted of attaining two objectives in a limited time. The subjects were divided into three conditions that differed only in the number of constraints that had to be taken into account in order to win the contest. The data show that the degree of urgency felt, measured by the amount of time taken, increased as the number of constraints increased. At the same time, the frequency of two of the risky behaviors (not using the pedestrian crossing, running across the road) increased, whereas the frequency of observation failures was independent of the condition. Not using the pedestrian crossing and running across the road were therefore deliberately taken risks, whereas observation failures can be attributed to a control deficit. The discussion includes suggestions for training.
    Transportation Research Part F Traffic Psychology and Behaviour 11/2012; 15(6):635-643. DOI:10.1016/j.trf.2012.07.001 · 1.99 Impact Factor


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May 30, 2014
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