Evocation of freedom and compliance: the but you are free of… technique

Article (PDF Available)inCurrent Research in Social Psychology 5(18):264-270 · September 2000with1,459 Reads
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.
    • "One of these techniques, called the evoking freedom technique, is a verbal compliance procedure that consists of soliciting someone to comply with a request by simply telling a person that he or she is free to accept or refuse the request. In the first study published on this technique, Guéguen and Pascual (2000) asked passersby in a street to give them money. In the experimental condition, their request ended with the phrase " but you are free to accept or to refuse, " whereas this phrase was not used in the control condition. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The evoking freedom technique is a verbal compliance technique that consists of soliciting someone to comply with a request by simply saying that the solicitee is free to accept or refuse the request. The effect of this technique on customer behavior has never been tested, however. When presenting the menu to a patron, a waitress was instructed to suggest a dish. In half of the cases, when making this suggestion, the employee added that the patron was free to choose a different dish. Results showed that compared to a control condition, the suggestion associated with the evoking freedom technique had a positive effect on the patron’s choice. The magnitude and the generalization of this technique are discussed.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2016
    • "With a very large number of participants and with a high number of confederates used, the data confirmed the tendency found by Guéguen and Pascual (2000). However, the sample size and the procedures used here prevented some possible biases associated with the attractiveness of the requester or with the selection of the participants in the experimental conditions. "
    Data · Apr 2016 · North American Journal of Psychology
    • "Among the most influential are sequential techniques such as the foot-in-the-door technique (Freedman & Fraser, 1966), the door-in-the-face technique (Cialdini et al., 1975), the low-ball technique (Cialdini, Cacioppo, Basset, & Miller, 1978) or the lure (Joule, Gouilloux, & Weber, 1989). Compliance behavior can also be obtained with verbal procedures such as the Legitimization Paltry Contribution technique ( " even a penny will help " –Cialdini & Schroeder, 1976), the semantic evocation of freedom ( " but you are free of… " –Guéguen & Pascual, 2000), or the Pique technique (e.g., " Can you spare 17 cents? " –Santos, Leve, & Pratkanis, 1994). "
    Article · Dec 2015
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