Evocation of freedom and compliance: The “But you are free of …” technique

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


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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Available from: Alexandre Pascual
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    • "Although the transculturality of social infl uence processes is a fi eld of research that has been litt le investigated by social psychologists, several studies (Aaker, 2000; Cialdini, Wosinska, Barrett , Butner, & Gornik-Durose, 1999; Han & Shavitt , 1994) have nevertheless demonstrated that the eff ects of persuasive communications varied in diff erent cultures (Courbet & Marchioli, in press). In a similar vein, persuasion techniques like the touch technique (Kleinke, 1977) and the " but you are free of " technique (Guéguen & Pascual, 2000), or those based on successive requests as with the foot-in-the-door technique (Freedman & Fraser, 1966), are also known for being sensitive to cultural eff ects (Guéguen & Pascual, 2000; Pascual et al., 2012; Petrova, Cialdini, & Sills, 2007). In the light of these theoretical elements, the disrupt phase can be interpreted, on the one hand, as the disruption of a communication situation by an odd element, an element that could not have been predicted by the subjects and which alters the sequence of events initially expected in accordance with the social situation activated. "
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    ABSTRACT: Initiated by Davis and Knowles (1999), the-disrupt-then-reframe technique is based on the linking of two moments in time. First of all, slipping an unexpected element into a communication situation that is likely to provoke a disruption in communication. Once this disruption has been achieved, proposing a target behaviour by insisting on the benefit that the individual could derive from it. We wanted to verify that this technique, effective in American, Dutch, and Polish contexts and naturally dependent on the culture of individuals and the communication norms which prevail there, could be effective in a French context. In accordance with the literature, our results show that when the two phases of the technique are linked, a greater persuasive effect is observed. A theoretically interesting way to interpret the effectiveness of the technique is proposed.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Psychology of Language and Communication
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    • "Héritières des travaux de Lewin, les théories de l'engagement (Kiesler, 1971 ; Joule & Beauvois, 2013; Joule & Beauvois, 1998) se sont avérées efficaces pour obtenir d'autrui qu'il fasse ce qu'on attend de lui. Cette approche préconise de placer l'autre en situation d'acteur, en lui faisant réaliser des comportements peu coûteux dans un premier temps, avant de l'amener à réaliser le comportement-cible, généralement coûteux en termes d'effort, d'investissement, etc. Un certain nombre de techniques dites de soumission librement consentie (Joule & Beauvois, 1998) en sont dérivées : le pied-dans-la-porte (Freedman & Fraser, 1966), l'amorçage (Joule, Gouilloux & Weber, 1991), le Vous êtes libre de (Guéguen & Pascual, 2000). Si elles sont efficaces dans les interactions de face-à-face, elles le sont également dans les interactions médiatisées (Guéguen et al, 2002, 2003). "

    Full-text · Article · Jun 2015
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    • "To overcome this problem, Halimi-Falkowicz et al. (2007) used two compliance without pressure techniques together such as touching (Kleinke, 1977) and " you are free to. . . " (YAFT) (Guéguen & Pascual, 2000) to encourage residents to participate in the social activities offered by their nursing home. The technique is simply to touch briefly the arm of a person when asking him something, while YAFT involves saying to the subject that he/she is quite free to accept or reject the request that is made to him/her. "
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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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