Social labeling and compliance: An evaluation of the link between the label and the request

Nicolas Gueguen1
1Universite de Bretagne-Sud, France
Cite this article:  Gueguen, N. (2001). Social labeling and compliance: An evaluation of the link between the label and the request. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 29(8), 743-748.

Volume 29 Issue 8 | e1134 | Published: December 2001 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2001.29.8.743

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Research on the effect of a negative social labeling on compliance has resulted in divergent findings. In some cases, a negative labeling made after a first request leads to decreased compliance with a further request, while, in other cases, this labeling leads to increased compliance. These contradictory results could be due to the presence or absence of a link between the label and the nature of the further request. An experiment was carried out in which participants were the target of an initial negative label (unpleasant remark on the fact they ate horse meat presented on top of a shopping bag they had agreed to keep an eye on). Then, a few seconds later, they had the opportunity to carry out a prosocial behavior linked with the label (a petition in favor of animal rights) or without a link with it (a petition for the diminution of pollution). Results showed that compliance with the later request was affected by the initial labeling only when there was congruence between the request and the label.

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