Acquiring Assistance from Others The Effect of Indirect Requests and Relational Intimacy on Verbal Compliance

Jerry M. Jordan, Michael E. Roloff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

This research examines the effectiveness of indirect requests in attaining assistance from intimate and nonintimate others. Prior research indicates that people are inclined to make requests using indirect forms. However, help‐seeking research has neglected to consider request forms, and research on indirect requests has focused mainly on issues of interpretation. The results of this study indicate that the directness of a request increases request force and also interacts with relational intimacy to influence verbal compliance. Directness is more effective at eliciting verbal compliance at higher levels of intimacy. The experimental findings highlight issues concerning the definition of indirectness and also the utility of merging interpretation and compliance in language research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)519-555
Number of pages37
JournalHuman Communication Research
Volume16
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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