Guilt and expected guilt in the door-in-the-face technique

Daniel J. O'Keefe*, Marianne Figgé

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Three studies are reported concerning the guilt-based explanation of the door-in-the-face (DITF) technique, which proposes that in successful DITF implementations, first-request refusal generates guilt that is reduced by second-request compliance. An initial experiment confirmed that, consistent with this explanation, rejection of a prosocial request evoked more guilt than did rejection of a nonprosocial request. A second experiment provided further confirmation that request rejection can elicit guilt in the expected ways, but found that second-request compliance did not provide the predicted guilt reduction. A third experiment suggested that second-request compliance may be motivated by the expectation that compliance will reduce guilt.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)312-324
Number of pages13
JournalCommunication Monographs
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999


  • Anticipated Emotion
  • Anticipated Guilt
  • Compliance
  • Door-in-the-Face
  • Guilt

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics

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