The foot-in-the-door technique basically means that a person will first approach you with a small request, one that seems very simple and is not invasive. This small request is used to "break the ice," and is then followed by a much larger request, which is very difficult to refuse because of the first one (Fraser & Freedman 1966). I can't even count how many times I've been duped by this strategy, but perhaps the worst one happened in the 6th grade. We were all given one of those terrible books full of shit that people would hate, you know the kind with the popcorn and weird ornaments. Well my mom hated those fundraisers and just liked to get them out of the way so she would take them to her office with me and the people that work with her would buy stuff because my mom is the boss, lol. The next day I would go with my dad to his office and it was the same story. So after three days I was done. That's when the foot-in-the door- technique comes in to play. My friend asked me to do her a little favor because she had to go out of town for the weekend. Simple, try and sell a few items for her. Cool, of course I would. She came back a few days later and got her book, thanked me and didn't say anything about it till about 3 days before the fundraiser was about to end. Then the whopper of a favor came. "Can you sell the rest of my items?" I SAID YES.... prior to looking at the number of things she had sold.... turns out I had done all of her selling with my first favor and basically did that whole fundraiser twice. I look back on that now and get pretty pissed. haha
The norm of reciprocity is still one that I struggle with on a day to day basis. Basically, this is the golden rule being used to manipulated the shit out of us. "Treat others as you would like to be treated." The norm of reciprocity occurs when someone does a favor for you. That favor, no matter how small makes you feel like you are indebted to that person and therefore you are more likely to do something else for them (Gouldner 1960). However, this can also be used against us in the form of manipulation to do bad things, for example, the statement, "An eye for an eye." Someone does something bad to you and you return the favor. Anyway, I have this thing where I like to do favors for people, and somehow people abuse that (sarcasm). Well, one time a friend of my spotted me 20 bucks to buy some food cause I had left my wallet at home that morning. He was always a super nice guy and I never had a problem with him, so I had no problem with it and was planning on paying him back the next day. I attempted multiple times to pay him back and he said, "Hey, just forget about it, you'll get the next after school meal." So after school a few friends and I hop in our cars and I called to find out where we were going... turns out my pay back meal was at one of the more expensive places to eat in my hometown and I couldn't go back on my deal, I mean I was just doing him the same favor right? Wrong, I was totally TRICKED.... grrrrr I'm angry about it now! I called him up after class and called him out on it though, it was very vindicating.
I mean these are just two examples that I remember very clearly, I know for a fact that I've been low balled at a car dealership and would have fallen for it had my father not jumped in to save the day. I'm a spineless mess, but I'm working on it! haha
Freedman, J.L., & Fraser, S.C. (1966). Compliance without pressure: The foot-in-the-door technique. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 4, 195 - 202.
Gouldner, A.W. (1960). The norm of reciprocity: A preliminary statement. American Sociological Review, 25, 161-178.