Forced Compliance

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Forced Compliance

What is Forced Compliance? Meaning.

Forced Compliance is a persuasive technique to force someone to do something contrary to his will or ethic.


Forced Compliance, sometimes also referred to as Induced Compliance, is when someone is persuaded to take on a position contrary to his/her attitudes. It is a concept derived from classic psychology researched in the 1960s by Festinger, Smith and Philip G. Zimbardo. Studies demonstrated that if someone feels obliged to comply with orders that are against a person’s values or ethic, strange effects may occur.


According to 1965 Zimbardo’s research more people are going to obey if they are rudely asked then if they are asked in polite manner. Zimbardo used an authority figure to push participants into eating grasshoppers. When the persuader acted politely, a significant number of participants later reported a lower affinity with eating grasshoppers than when the persuader was brusque.


The effect is reinforced in the case of audiences strongly adverse to the persuader. This concept has to be treated with care since one of the first rules for an effective persuasion is being good to others. See also: Persuasion Theory.


This technique can be effective if used by two collaborators who are playing the roles of good and bad guy: if this is used in some retail outlet by 2 salesmen apparently a customer gets more interest in buying.


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Compare with: Bait and Switch  |  Persuasion Techniques  |  Door in the Face  |  Foot in the Door  |  Sleeper Effect  |  Mirroring and Matching  |  Low Ball Technique  |  Validity Effect  |  Forced Compliance  |  4 Ps of Persuasion  |  Framing  |  Balance Theory  |  Cognitive Dissonance

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