Self-Concept Clarity and the Foot-In-The-Door Procedure.

Burger, J., & Guadagno, R. (2003). Self-concept clarity and the foot-in-the-door procedure. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 25(1), 79-86.

Three studies examined the role self-concept clarity plays in compliance within the foot-in-the-door procedure. Undergraduate participants in Study 1 were either asked to sign a letter to the president encouraging aid for the homeless or did not receive this request. A few days later participants were contacted by phone and asked to take part in a food drive for the homeless. Participants high in self-concept clarity were more likely to agree to the larger request when they first had agreed to the small request, that is, the typical foot-in-the-door effect. However, low self-concept clarity participants were less likely to agree with the larger request after they had agreed to the small request. This pattern was replicated in Study 2 using a different set of requests and a different charitable cause. Study 3 found changes in self-rated helplessness following a foot-in-the-door manipulation that matched the pattern of compliance in the first two studies. The findings provide additional support for the self-perception interpretation of the foot-in-the-door effect and point to 1 explanation for the inconsistent results in research on sequential-request compliance procedures.

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