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SAY PLEASE: THE EFFECT OF THE WORD “PLEASE” IN COMPLIANCE-SEEKING REQUESTS

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Abstract:

This study reports the results of an experiment examining whether presenting a request that included the word “please” would facilitate greater compliance than would a request that did not include the word please. We hypothesized that the plead request (incorporating the word please) would elicit higher rates of compliance than would a nonplead request. Participants consisted of 165 male and 139 female undergraduates, aged 18-24, from a private, comprehensive university in the Midwest of the USA. Participants were surveyed by 8 callers, trained to uniformly verbalize the requests for compliance. Results showed that a greater proportion of participants in the nonplead condition complied than did in the plead condition (χ2 = 6.432, df = 1, p < 0.05). The implications of this analysis are discussed.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2004.32.1.67

Publication date: January 1, 2004

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