Foot in the Door Phenomenon
It is worth noting that while there is foot-in-the-door phenomenon, there is also the foot-in-the-door-technique. Literally, the technique is applied to get the phenomenon. In this context, phenomenon is that tendency of people approving of a large request after complying with a small request in the first place. Therefore, the technique is important as it helps to gain compliance from other people, i.e. to get them behave in particular way. In this approach, a small request is made to a smaller group with the aim of getting bigger support through this small initiative. For example, an organization may want you to offer voluntary services, and dedicate five hours of your time to that activity for say two months.
However, to win you easily, they may request to volunteer for one hour ones. Once you agree to the small request, they work into winning you and convincing you to volunteer more of your time until when you conform to their demands of five hour weekly for two months. There is usually a high likelihood of one agreeing to the bigger request if they accepted the smaller without coercion. This technique is applied by many people in different situations.
In most cases, the foot-in-the-door phenomenon works because when a person commits to a small favor, they end up committing to larger favors, especially in cases where such opportunities arise. The foot-in-the-door technique is therefore an essential tool you can used to gain compliance and have someone agree to your request, which he or she would have blatantly turned down. For example, accepting to babysit your neighbor’s child a whole day might not be easy. Nevertheless, if she requested you to do it for an hour, you are likely to accept readily. However, after one hour, you might feel obligated to accept to babysit the baby for longer house and probably for a whole day. In some cases, psychologists refer to it as the rule of commitment. It has become common in business where marketers apply it to convince customers to buy their products.
It can also be used when you are seeking a favor from a higher office. For example, you request for an internship in an organization and apply for a job in the same organization upon completing your internship, Here, it becomes easier to convince the company that you will deliver and give your best having shown exemplary performance when you were on internship. The process of requesting more favors based on how you performed. Bigger opportunities will come if you do not let the person in the first and subsequent chances that you get to serve. This therefore for excellence, especially if you look forward to request for another favor probably once you complete your current task.
In foot-in-the-door phenomenon, the initial small requests are important in establishing a bond between the master and subject. This rapport is what determines their future engagement and if they will ever get such an opportunity. The phenomenon could also be used when looking for advocacy support. For instance, an organization concerned with the environment could enroll a few people from a town to engage in weakly or monthly cleanup of the town. There is a high likelihood that in the initial stages, the initiative is likely to receive low turnout but improve with time. The most successful phenomena occur when there is a match between the person’s image and personality with the nature of the request.
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Retrieve from http://faculty.babson.edu/krollag/org_site/soc_psych/freed_fras_foot.html