Psychology Faculty Publications

Title

Say Please: Effect of the Word "Please" in Compliance-Seeking Requests

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2004

Journal Title

Social Behavior and Personality

Volume

32

Issue

1

First Page

67

Last Page

172

Abstract

This study reports the results of an experiment examining whether presenting a request that included the word "please" would facilitate greater compliance than would a request that did not include the word please. We hypothesized that the plead request (incorporating the word please) would elicit higher rates of compliance than would a nonplead request. Participants consisted of 165 male and 139 female undergraduates, aged 18-24. from a private, comprehensive university in the Midwest of the USA. Participants were surveyed by 8 callers, trained to uniformly verbalize the requests for compliance. Results showed that a greater proportion of participants in the nonplead condition complied than did in the plead condition (χ2=6.432, df = 1,p< 0.05). The implications of this analysis are discussed.

Keywords

Etiquette, compliance, cooperativeness

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