How Can People Be Induced to Willingly Change Their Behavior? The Path from Persuasive Communication to Binding Communication



How can people be induced to willingly change their behavior? The present article has three main objectives. Its first purpose is to review some of the procedures pertaining to the ‘free will’ compliance paradigm. These procedures increase the likelihood that others will freely comply to one's requests (low-ball, teasing, foot-in-the door, touch, and ‘you are free to’ procedures). The second objective is to introduce a theory stemming from social psychology, namely, the theory of commitment. Finally, we wish to describe the binding communication approach that can be situated at the intersection of research conducted in both the fields of communication, more specifically in the domain of persuasive communication, and the fields of commitment and free will compliance. A project carried out to encourage school children to behave in a more environmentally friendly way will be described to illustrate the approach.