“Why Do People Fall Prey to Social Influence Techniques? a Limited-Resource Account of Compliance”

Kathleen D. Vohs, University of Minnesota, USA
Bob Fennis, University of Twente, The Netherlands
Loes Janssen, University of Twente, The Netherlands
Across six field and lab experiments, we found that self-regulatory resource depletion promotes compliance. We tested a model that depicts (1) a scripted influence technique as inducing self-regulatory resource depletion; (2) resource depletion increases compliance through reliance on norms embedded in the technique. Experiments 1-2 showed that a foot-in-the-door ploy induced self-regulatory resource depletion. Experiments 3a-3b ruled out alternate interpretations. Experiments 4-5 demonstrated that a lack of regulatory resources fosters compliance through reliance on norms. Experiment 6 used individual differences in self-control and a full sequential request technique; compliance was highest among people low in trait self-control.
[ to cite ]:
Kathleen D. Vohs, Bob Fennis, and Loes Janssen (2009) ,"“Why Do People Fall Prey to Social Influence Techniques? a Limited-Resource Account of Compliance”", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 64-67.