The authors thank Laura Coscarelli for her assistance with some of the data collection.
Raising the Price of Agreement: Public Commitment and the Lowball Compliance Procedure1
Version of Record online: 31 JUL 2006
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 33, Issue 5, pages 923–934, May 2003
How to Cite
Burger, J. M. and Cornelius, T. (2003), Raising the Price of Agreement: Public Commitment and the Lowball Compliance Procedure. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 33: 923–934. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.2003.tb01931.x
- Issue online: 31 JUL 2006
- Version of Record online: 31 JUL 2006
Three studies examined the effect on compliance when a requester raises the price of the request. Participants in Experiment 1 were told that they would receive a free coffee mug for donating money to a fundraiser but were interrupted before they could respond and were told that the fundraisers were out of mugs. These participants were less likely to donate money than a group told nothing about the mugs. Experiments 2 and 3 compared this interruption procedure with the lowball procedure, which also uses a small-to-large price progression. The results from these two studies indicate that allowing people to respond to the initial price is critical for producing the lowball effect. Without a statement of public commitment, the small-to-large price progression led to a decrease rather than an increase in compliance relative to a control group.