Nicolas Guéguen

Social Psychology

PhD
38.83

Publications

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    ABSTRACT: A bystander’s reaction to a theft following a foot-in-the door (FITD) technique was observed in a field setting. An experiment was conducted in the pavement area of a bar where a first male confederate was seated alone with his suitcase on the ground. In the FITD condition, the confederate asked a participant for the time, thanked him/her, and left to go into the bar. In the control condition, no initial verbal contact was displayed, and the confederate just left to go into the bar. About 20 seconds after the first confederate had left to go into the bar, a second male confederate arrived, looked carefully around him, took the first confederate’s suitcase, and then left the place. More participants intervened in the FITD condition to stop the theft (84 per cent) than in the control condition (47 per cent). Social responsibility activation was used to explain these results, which has significant implications for encouraging public involvement in crime prevention.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · Crime Prevention and Community Safety
  • Nicolas Guéguen · Angélique Martin · Fabien Silone · Mathieu David
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    ABSTRACT: The Foot-in-the-Door (FITD) technique was used to reduce driver’s aggressiveness.•Drivers were asked or not for a direction by a woman pedestrian.•A confederate was instructed to block the traffic.•Fewer drivers honked in the FITD condition and displayed their behavior later. Research has reported that the foot-in-the-door technique is effective at increasing helping behavior. However, the effect of this technique on negative social behavior has never been examined. A field experiment was conducted to explore whether this technique could reduce aggressiveness. Drivers waiting at a traffic light were blocked by an experimental car. In the Foot-in-the-door condition, when the traffic light was red, a passerby confederate asked the driver for directions to a well-known store located in the area of the experiment. The confederate then thanked the driver and walked off in the direction indicated. In the control condition, no request was addressed to the car driver. When the traffic light turned green, the experimental car pretended to be blocked by an engine problem. The number of drivers who honked at the target car and the amount of time that elapsed before the drivers responded by honking their horns were the dependent variables. It was found that fewer drivers honked in the Foot-in-the-door condition and drivers who honked displayed their behavior later than those in the control condition. Self-perception theory was used to explain these results.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Transportation Research Part F Traffic Psychology and Behaviour
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    ABSTRACT: Research has reported that reciprocity is an important social norm in relationships. In previous studies on reciprocity, participants' behavior was examined after receiving a favor from someone. In a series of field studies, we examined the effect of a statement that proved that a solicitor was someone who respected this principle. Confederates solicited participants for money or a cigarette in exchange for stamps or money respectively. It was found that the participants complied more readily with the request in the promised favor condition but most of them refused to take the promised favor. We conclude that individuals were led to help those who respected the putative norm of reciprocity in their social interaction.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · The Journal of Social Psychology

  • No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · North American Journal of Psychology
  • Nicolas Guéguen · Chloé Eyssartier · Sébastien Meineri
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction Research has reported that smiles facilitate social relationships. However, the effect of a smile on driving behavior has received less interest. Method This study attempts to evaluate how a pedestrian's smile influences an oncoming driver's behavior. In the first part of our study, male and female research assistants waiting at several pedestrian crossings were asked to smile or not at oncoming drivers. Results It was found that a smile increases the number of drivers who stop. The same effect was observed when the pedestrian tries to cross outside the pedestrian crossing. Finally, this study shows that motorists drive slower after they see a pedestrian smile, suggesting that a smile can induce a positive mood. Practical Applications This leads to motorists stopping more readily and driving more carefully. These results also suggest that pedestrians may increase their own safety by using appropriate nonverbal signals toward drivers. © 2015 National Safety Council and Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015
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    Sebastien Meineri · Mickaël Dupre · Boris Vallee · Nicolas Gueguen
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    ABSTRACT: Empirical observation led us to identify a particular and widespread form of solicitation involving requesting a service before making the target request. Relating this form of solicitation to compliance paradigms based on consistency, we hypothesized that the technique would increase the compliance rates of individuals. 167 passersby were approached in the street for a money donation according to two conditions: the appeal for money was preceded by a service request or not. We found that those passersby receiving the service request and the monetary appeal were significantly more compliant than those receiving the monetary appeal only. The discussion focuses on the psychological mechanisms at work in the acceptance of the requests, and avenues for future research are suggested.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Social Influence
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    Angélique Martin · Jacques Fisher-Lokou · Nicolas Guéguen
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    ABSTRACT: Research has shown that mimicking someone is a way for solicitors to be perceived more positively and to increase compliance with a helping request. The effect of mimicking on children and on compliance with a request for change in food consumption, however, has never been examined. Nine- and 11-year-old children (N = 57) were either mimicked or not by an instructor at the beginning of an interaction. Then, the children were asked to eat a piece of fruit in their afternoon snack for at least 1 week and to try not to eat candy or drink soda for at least 1 week. The results show that children who were mimicked by the instructor consumed more fruit in their afternoon snack and they did so for a longer period of time. Children who were mimicked also asked their parents to buy fruit, and they wanted to continue eating fruit in their afternoon snack. These changes in their fruit consumption were confirmed by their mother (N = 25). These results suggest that mimicry can influence child behavior and could be used to promote changes in eating behavior.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Food Quality and Preference
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    Nicolas Guéguen · Angélique Martin · Castano Rio Andrea
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    ABSTRACT: Research has reported the positive effect of verbal encouragement/reinforcement on participants' performance. However, most of the time, verbal encouragement/reinforcement was given several times during the task, and the encouragement used was often a personal trait ("You're good, "you're clever", etc.). In the first study, 3-5 year-old children were asked to find an image which was not included in a group of images that had been presented several minutes before. The instructor told half of the children "You are a clever boy/girl. You can succeed" (verbal encouragement condition), while she said nothing to the other half of the children (control condition). It was reported that 77% of the children responded correctly in the verbal encouragement condition while only 30% responded correctly in the control condition. In the second study, 8-9 year-old children were asked to do an alphabetical order task using the names of 7 well-known fruits printed on a paper. After the children viewed the words and were given the instructions, the teacher told half of the children "I am sure you'll succeed" (verbal encouragement condition) while she said nothing to the other half of the children (control condition). Results showed that more children succeeded in the verbal encouragement condition (82%) than in the control condition (47%). The importance of verbal reinforcement for teachers is discussed.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015
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    Angélique Martin · Nicolas Guéguen
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    ABSTRACT: Research reports that individuals judge more positively those who mimic them and are more likely to comply with a request made by a mimicker. We hypothesized that mimicking could also enhance one's motivation, performance and evaluation of an instructor. Nine- and ten-year-old children were either mimicked or not by an instructor at the beginning of an interaction. Here, mimicry consisted in literally repeating what the children said. Afterwards, performance in a learning task was measured and the interview ended with the evaluation of the interaction and the instructor. It was found that children in the mimicry condition spent more time on a subsequent task and that their recall performance significantly increased. A mimicked child revealed more personal information to the mimicker and indicated more pleasure and ease with performing the task, in addition to perceiving more interest and attention from the mimicker. These results suggest that mimicry influences learning, motivation and evaluation of the learning context.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015
  • Nicolas Guéguen · Lubomir Lamy
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    ABSTRACT: The effect of justifying a request for money combined with the pique technique was examined in three studies. Passersby in the street were asked for money, either for some small change (control condition) or for exactly 42 cents (pique technique condition). Results reported that use of the pique technique increased compliance (Study 1), particularly when a legitimate reason for asking was given (Study 2). Study 3 found that, when the requester stated that they were close to obtaining the sum necessary to buy a product, compliance was increased with the pique technique. The pique technique likely increased participants’ feeling that the person asking was close to reaching the sum necessary to buy something, thus increasing the pressure to comply with the request.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Communication Reports
  • Céline Jacob · Nicolas Guéguen
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    ABSTRACT: Pictures and images are important aspects in fundraising advertising and could generate more donations. In two experimental studies, we examined the effect of various pictures of hearts on compliance with a request for organ donations. The solicitor wore a white tee shirt where various forms of hearts were printed: symbolic versus realistic (first experiment), none versus symbolic versus realistic (second experiment). Results showed that more compliance was found in the realistic heart experimental condition whereas the symbolic heart form had no significant effect.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Health Marketing Quarterly
  • Nicolas Guéguen · Jordy Stefan · Clément Ruiz
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    ABSTRACT: Several studies have shown the psychological benefits of plants on people's health, emotions, and well-being. However, the effect of flowers on social relations, and particularly helping behavior, has never been tested. In three field studies, confederates held a bunch of flowers or a T-shirt, or they had nothing in their hands while walking in a shopping mall and accidentally dropping a card-holder on the floor (Study 1) or while waiting at a pedestrian crossing (Study 2). Results showed that more participants warned the confederates of their loss and more drivers stopped when the confederates held a bunch of flowers. This effect of the presence of flowers was found with both male and female participants. In Study 3, we compared the effect of a potted plant to that of flowers and observed a significant effect of flowers only. The positive emotions associated with the presence of flowers and their symbolism were used to explain our results.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Ecopsychology
  • Nicolas Guéguen · Céline Jacob
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    ABSTRACT: It has previously been reported that an interviewer's dress style influences compliance with a face-to-face survey request. However, dress style has been examined in global terms, with the interviewer wearing conventional clothes versus smart clothes. In this study, we tested the effect of the presence or absence of a single cue of dress style. A male interviewer wearing a bow tie or a tie, or no tie, asked passers-by in the street to participate in a very short survey related to international current events. It was found that both male and female participants were more willing to participate when the interviewer wore a tie or a bow tie; additionally, the bow tie exerted more effect on compliance than on the tie. The practical interest of these findings for attracting survey responses and the importance of dress style in social relationships are discussed.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · International Journal of Fashion Design Technology and Education
  • Nicolas Guéguen · Jordy Stefan
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    ABSTRACT: Research has consistently shown that the appearance of women’s apparel influences men’s behavior and judgment. However, the effect of women’s shoe heels has received little interest. Female confederates wearing black shoes with 0-, 5-, or 9-cm heels walked on the street. In a first experiment, we examined the number of men in the street who smiled at the female confederate. More smiles were addressed to the confederate with high heels. In a second experiment, the confederates asked men and women to respond to a short survey. It was found that high heels increased males’ but not females’ compliance with the request. In a third experiment, the photography of the same woman’s body profile wearing high heels or not was evaluated by men. Results showed that high heels were associated with greater sexiness, overall physical attractiveness, breast attractiveness, beauty, attractiveness to other men, and willingness for a date. All the experiments supported the notion that high heels increase women’s attractiveness to men.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment
  • Nicolas Guéguen · Sébastien Meineri · Chloé Eyssartier
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    ABSTRACT: Nearly 25% of the pedestrians who died in Europe were hit by a car while at a pedestrian crossing. In this study, we tried to evaluate how a pedestrian’s stare influenced an oncoming driver’s stopping behavior at a pedestrian crossing. Male and female confederates waiting at several pedestrian crossings were asked to either stare at oncoming drivers or to look just above the drivers’ heads. It was reported that staring increased the number of drivers who stopped. This effect was found both with male and female drivers and with male and female confederates. These results suggested that pedestrians could increase their own safety by using appropriate nonverbal signals toward drivers.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2015 · Safety Science
  • Nicolas Guéguen · Fabien Silone · Mathieu David · Alexandre Pascual
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    ABSTRACT: -The "evoking freedom" technique consists in soliciting someone to comply with a request by simply saying that she is free to accept or to refuse the request. However, previous studies used low cost requests. The present study examined the magnitude of this technique associated with a more disturbing and costly request. Sixty men and 60 women aged approximately 20-25 years walking in the street were asked by a male confederate to hold a closed transparent box containing a live trap-door spider while he went into the post office to pick up a package. In the evoking freedom condition, the confederate added in his request that the participant was "free to accept or to refuse." More compliance occurred in the "evoking freedom" condition (53.3%) than in the control condition (36.7%). These results confirm the robustness and the magnitude of the evoking freedom technique on compliance and show that this technique remained effective even when the request was psychologically costly to perform and was associated with fear.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2015 · Psychological Reports
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    ABSTRACT: Identifying low-cost, effective methods to influence behavior is of keen interest to social marketers and others striving to bring about social change. Research on material primes (an object or a word present in the individual’s environment) has received little interest from scientists. This field study conducted in France examined whether the presence of a religious symbol could influence the number of individuals who accepted an organ donation card. The study, conducted with 200 males and 200 females, examined the effect of the presence versus the absence of a Christian cross worn by a solicitor on participant’s compliance to an organ donation request. The findings showed that participants exposed to a Christian cross worn by a solicitor complied more favorably with the request addressed by the solicitor. This effect was found among both male and female participants. The presence of the Christian cross could have acted as a prime that led in turn to the activation of further concepts associated with religion such as compassion, support or solidarity, which in turn led participants to accept the organ donation solicitation more favorably.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · Social Marketing Quarterly
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    ABSTRACT: The “but you are free” (BYAF) technique is a verbal compliance procedure which solicits people to comply with a request by telling them that they are free to accept or to refuse the request. This technique is based on the semantic evocation of freedom. In two studies, we explored another operationalization of this paradigm: the word “liberty” or a “Statue of Liberty” picture on the experimenter’s clothes. The data showed that the word liberty printed on a t-shirt produced the BYAF effect whereas the Statue of Liberty did not. These results provide some evidence consistent with using reactance and commitment theories to explain the paradigm, contrary to other theoretical interpretations proposed in the literature such as politeness and reciprocity theories.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · Social Influence
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    A. Pascual · Y. Saada · J. Dessales · N. Guéguen · M. Lourel
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    ABSTRACT: This study proposes a simple methodology to improve the quality of life of residents in nursing homes. In the experimental condition, an intervention based on the feeling of control, the technique of touching and “you are free to…” was implemented. Assessment of the residents’ appropriation of their personal space and their morale was made one month later. Data showed a significant improvement in both parameters in the experimental condition, whereas values remained stable in the control group, which did not receive the intervention.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · Pratiques Psychologiques
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    ABSTRACT: This study examined the pique technique associated with a reframing sentence. Passersby in the street were asked for money, either for a common amount of change (control) or 37 cents (pique technique). In half of the cases, the requester added a direct reframing sentence at the end of the request. Results showed that the pique technique increased compliance with the request. Adding a reframing sentence to the pique did not increase compliance rate with the request but increased the amount of money given by the participants. These results support the theoretical explanation that a reframing sentence could reduce the influence of the script of refusal activated by the money request.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · Communication Research Reports

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