Blood donation and the foot-in-the-door technique: A limiting case

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Three experiments with a total of 211 undergraduates tested the effectiveness of the foot-in-the-door technique for recruiting blood donors. Exp I attempted to demonstrate that an earlier failure of this technique was due to poor operationalization rather than to the magnitude of the critical request or to the invalidity of the phenomenon, but it failed to do so. Exp II, designed to more closely resemble other foot-in-the-door studies by using telephone contacts and an initial request for persons to answer questions, was conducted to examine other possible explanations for the 2 previous failures. This experiment also failed to show any foot-in-the-door effect. Exp III was a conceptual replication of Exp II, but used personal contacts. One apparent foot-in-the-door effect emerged in this case, but it was more likely due to a factor other than the experimental treatment. It is concluded that although the foot-in-the-door procedure may influence verbal compliance with requests for minimal forms of aid, it probably will not significantly affect people's willingness to comply with more substantial requests involving behaviors that are psychologically costly. (20 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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