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."
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
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
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