Cialdini, R.B., Vincent, J.E., Lewis, S.K., Catalan,J., Wheeler, D., & Darby, B.L., Reciprocal Concessions Procedure for Inducing Compliance: The door-in the face Technique. JPSP, 1975,31,206-215.

This study was the opposite of the Freedman and Fraswer studies. They first asked a large favor that would certainly be rejected, and then later asked a small favor.

This study explores the idea of "mutual reciprocal concessions" or "give and take" in negotiations. Previous studies showed that the idea of making an initial "firm" offer and holding pat was not an effective way to negotiate -- start higher and "give and take" down to an equitable level.

It seems that intial extreme demands that are "backed off" cause the opponent to make increased mutual concessions as well.

"The hypothesis that is we were to begin by asking for an extreme favor which was sure to be refused by the other, and then we were to move to a smaller request, the other would feel a normative strain to match our concession with one of his own."

Three conditions:
1. Rejection-Moderation condition. Subject was asked and refused first request, then asked a smaller favor.
2. Smaller Request Only control. Subject was asked only smaller request.
3. Exposure Control. Subject was described the big request and then asked for the smaller favor.

Results were that nobody agreed to the big request (ask to be a Big Brother or Sister at a detention center for two hours per week for two years). The smaller request was to chaperone a group of kids to the zoo.

Results were 1=50% compliance, 2=25% compliance, 3=16.7% compliance. A smaller request after a bigger request does improve compliance. Note that just telling them about the big request isn't sufficient to build compiance.

The second experiment tested whether the two requests needed to be done by the same requester in order to achieve compliance. The same requests were used.

Results were Rejection-moderation control = 55% compliance, Two requesters, 10.5%, and Smaller Request only 31.5%. It seems that subjects need to see a concession from their requester before making their own concession. Different requesters didn't work.

The third experiment tested compliance if the second request was the same size as the first (which may reduce the compliance because there was no concession by the requester). They asked two small requests (one to chaperone to a museum and one to the zoo).

The results were Rejection-moderation control = %54 compliance, Equivalent request=33%, Smaller request only = 33%. Two equivalent requests did not increase compliance.

In the general area of negotiating, it seems there is a norm that requires that regular (i.e., reasonable) concessions are reciprocated. Intially large concessions aren't reciprocated, and no concessions are met with no concessions.