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Acts of Benevolence: A Limited-Resource Account of Compliance with Charitable Requests

By Bob M. Fennis, Loes Janssen and Kathleen D. Vohs


Across six field and lab experiments, we found that impaired self-control fosters compliance with charitable requests. Experiments 1 and 2 showed that self-regulatory resource depletion was induced when participants yielded to the initial requests of a foot-in-the-door script aimed at procuring volunteer behavior. Experiment 3 demonstrated that self-regulatory resource depletion mediated the effects of yielding to the initial requests of a foot-in-the-door technique on compliance with a charitable target request. Experiments 4-6 demonstrated that weak temporary and chronic self-control ability fostered compliance through reliance on compliance-promoting heuristics (i.e., reciprocity, liking, and consistency). (c) 2008 by JOURNAL OF CONSUMER RESEARCH, Inc..

DOI identifier: 10.1086/593291
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