When saying yes leads to saying no: Preference for consistency and the reverse foot-in-the-door effect

Rosanna E. Guadagno, Terrilee Asher, Linda J. Demaine, Robert B. Cialdini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


A requester using the foot-in-the-door (FITD) tactic begins by gaining compliance with a small request and then advances to a related, larger request. Previous work has demonstrated that a strong preference for consistency among targets of the tactic can enhance the FITD effect. Other work has indicated that an inadequate delay between the requests can produce resistance and can significantly reduce the effect. Study 1 found that high levels of preference for consistency (PFC) were sufficient to override this resistance, provided that participants' prior helpfulness in complying with the initial request was made salient. Study 2 replicated this finding among high-PFC participants and showed that low-PFC participants demonstrated a reverse FITD effect when their prior helpfulness was made salient. The authors conclude that high-and low-PFC individuals are likely to become more or less consistent with an action (respectively) when focused on the personal implications of that action.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)859-867
Number of pages9
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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