A guilt-based explanation of the door-in-the-face influence strategy

Daniel J. O'Keefe*, Marianne Figgé

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


A new explanation is proposed for the accumulated research findings concerning the door-in-the-face (DITF) influence strategy. The explanation treats successful DITF implementations as based on guilt: Refusal of the first request creates guilt, and compliance with the second request reduces guilt. In addition to explaining the known effects of DITF moderator variables, the explanation is consistent with current theoretical and empirical understandings of the nature of guilt and with extant research findings concerning guilt-based social influence. This explanation also suggests a significant role for a new moderator, the identity of the beneficiary of the requests. A reanalysis of previous meta-analytic findings confirms the importance of that moderator.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-81
Number of pages18
JournalHuman Communication Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Anthropology
  • Linguistics and Language


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