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