Foot in the Door

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Foot in the Door

What is Foot in the Door? Meaning.

Foot in the Door is a persuasive technique based on making an initial small request and ask more at a later stage.


The Foot in the Door technique or FITD has been researched by J.L. Freedman and S.C. Fraser in 1966 during their studies on "Compliance Without Pressure" (JPSP, 1966, 4, 196-202). Through empirical research they demonstrated that people who are asked a small request are more likely to say yes, and they will tend to be consistent with their behavior when asked for more in following requests.


The derived technique suggests to first ask a small request and, at a later stage - this could be right afterwards or later in time - come back with a bigger request or multiple requests. The attitude and behavior of the interlocutor, if positive at the first stage, is likely to remain unchanged or consistent. Compare with: Congruity Theory.


To work well, the first question of FITD needs to obtain a positive reply. The efficacy of this technique will be high if:

  1. The interlocutor's self-image is aligned with the topic of the request.
  2. If the individual need for consistency is high. This can be determined by values and culture.
  3. The following question(s) should be a direct extension of the first one.

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In an early study, a team of psychologists called housewives in California and asked if the women would answer a few que (...)
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Compare with: Door in the Face  |  Mirroring and Matching  |  Persuasion Techniques  |  Persuasion Principles  |  Sleeper Effect  |  Bait and Switch  |  Forced Compliance  |  4 Ps of Persuasion  |  Validity Effect  |  Low Ball Technique  |  Framing  |  Balance Theory  |  Cognitive Dissonance

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