Efficacy of request presentation on compliance

Aaron J. Vaughn1, Michael W. Firmin2, Chi-en Hwang3
1University of Vermont, United States
2Cedarville University, United States
3Cedarville University, Ukraine
Cite this article:  Vaughn, A. J., Firmin, M. W., & Hwang, C.-e. (2009). Efficacy of request presentation on compliance. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 37(4), 441-450.

Volume 37 Issue 4 | e1853 | Published: May 2009 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2009.37.4.441

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The present study was an exploration of the effects of request presentation on compliance with a sample of college students in a test cheating milieu. The effect of a request seemed to have a negative effect on compliance seeking, contrary to the hypothesis proposed. However, when a simple request was preceded by the word “please,” the rate of compliance increased, whereas a simple request generated the lowest rate of compliance. An analysis of gender effects showed an overall significant relationship between request condition and compliance in females only. A detailed analysis of individual responses to each confederate response revealed no significant variation. In sum, females in our sample appeared to react strongly to simple (direct) requests. Potential explanations for the results are explored in the context of theoretical and empirical research found in the literature.

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