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SOCIAL LABELING AND COMPLIANCE: AN EVALUATION OF THE LINK BETWEEN THE LABEL AND THE REQUEST

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Abstract:

Research on the effect of a negative social labeling on compliance has shown divergent results. Sometimes, a negative labeling made after a first request leads to decreased compliance with a further request, while, in other cases, this labeling leads to increased compliance. These contradictory results could come from the presence or absence of a link between the label and the nature of the further request. An experiment was carried out in which subjects were the target of an initial negative label (unpleasant remark on the fact they ate horse meat presented on top of a shopping bag they had agreed to keep an eye on). Then, a few seconds later, they had the opportunity to carry out a prosocial behavior linked with the label (a petition in favor of animals) or without a link with it (a petition for the diminution of pollution). Results showed that compliance with the later request was affected by the initial labeling only when there was congruence between the request and the label.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2001.29.8.743

Publication date: January 1, 2001

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