A field experiment using the foot-in-the-door technique to recruit teen smokers to smoking cessation programs
Behavioral compliance approaches such as the foot-in-the-door technique (Freedman & Fraser, 1966; Pliner, Hart, Kohl & Saari, 1974) have been tested and used in several social marketing programs (Scott, 1977; Ford & Spekman, 1981). However, much more needs to be learned about where and how to use these approaches most effectively. Little is known about the usefulness of these approaches for facilitating changes in behavior within highly resistant target markets. We conducted a field experiment to evaluate the promise of the foot-in-the-door technique (FITD) as a tool for addressing a very troublesome public health problem - how to recruit teenagers into a smoking cessation program. Previous recruitment efforts that have targeted teen smokers without using FITD have had very little success; only 2 to 6 % have agreed to enter programs (Peltier, Telch, & Coates, 1982). We examined whether the FITD approach of requesting teens to engage in a small behavior first, before asking them to engage in larger behaviors (i.e., agreeing to receive and/or help prepare smoking cessation materials), increased the likelihood that they would engage in the larger behaviors.
Bloom, PN; Lipkus, I; Schwartz-Bloom, RD; McBride, C; Feaganes, J
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