Psychology Faculty Publications

Title

Efficacy of Request Presentation on Compliance

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2009

Journal Title

Social Behavior and Personality

Volume

37

Issue

4

First Page

441

Last Page

450

Abstract

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.

Keywords

cheating, compliance, gender, please, request, social psychology

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