Assignment: The Rule of Reciprocity

Assignment: The Rule of Reciprocity
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Assignment: The Rule of Reciprocity
Assignment: The Rule of Reciprocity
Assignment: The Rule of Reciprocity
Reciprocation (Give and Take) The rule of reciprocity (that people are obligated to return favors) appears
to be a universal guideline, which encourages individuals of every culture to cooperate with one another. People can offer assistance to others with the confidence that they will be repaid in the future, thus creating mutually advantageous relationships where none existed before. Solicitors and adver- tisers take advantage of this basic standard of human behavior. The March of Dimes, the Audubon Society, and other charities send out free address labels and calendars in hopes that recipients will return the favor by making dona- tions. Other examples of this strategy (known as “foot-in-the-door”) are the product representatives who line supermarket aisles on weekends handing out samples of cheese, sausage, pizza, and other foods. Shoppers often respond by buying the items, partly out of a sense of obligation. The recipro- cal concessions strategy (referred to as the “door-in-the-face” or “rejection and retreat” technique) is an interesting variation on the theme of give and take. In this strategy, persuaders make an extreme request and then back off, asking for less. Making a smaller request is viewed as a concession and, as a result, targets are more likely to comply with the second attempt. Also, the follow-up request appears more reasonable in contrast to the original one. Cialdini and his colleagues first tested this procedure by asking strangers to make a two-year commitment as youth volunteers. The researchers then fol- lowed up their initial request by asking these same individuals to take chil- dren to the zoo for two hours. To create a comparison group, they approached a separate group of strangers with only the second request. Those who had first been asked to make the long-term commitment were more likely to agree to go to the zoo.51
The reciprocity rule can result in unwanted debts and trigger unequal exchanges. Concerns about the dangers of reciprocity are behind attempts to restrict gifts from lobbyists. Accepting meals, golf outings, and overseas jun- kets can put legislators in debt to special interest groups.
Cialdini outlines three strategies for resisting the power of reciprocity. One, turn down initial favors. Some political candidates refuse large contribu- tions, for instance, and universities return gifts from controversial donors. Two, do not feel obligated to return favors that are tricks, not genuine favors.
Hackman-Johnson Page 189 Tuesday, March 12, 2013 12:54 PM
190 Chapter Six
Three, turn the tables on unethical influencers by exploiting the exploiters. Take the free gift (a cracker, a free weekend visit at a time-share resort, a road atlas) and walk away without giving anything in return.
Commitment and Consistency This shortcut is based on the desire to appear consistent with previous
choices and actions. Consistency prevents feelings of dissonance while reduc- ing the need to think carefully about an issue after making a choice. Commit- ment goes hand in hand with the drive for consistency. Once we’ve made a commitment, no matter how small, we want to remain consistent with that decision or action. Using small commitments to leverage bigger ones is called the “foot-in-the door” strategy.
You must proofread your paper. But do not strictly rely on your computer’s spell-checker and grammar-checker; failure to do so indicates a lack of effort on your part and you can expect your grade to suffer accordingly. Papers with numerous misspelled words and grammatical mistakes will be penalized. Read over your paper – in silence and then aloud – before handing it in and make corrections as necessary. Often it is advantageous to have a friend proofread your paper for obvious errors. Handwritten corrections are preferable to uncorrected mistakes.
Use a standard 10 to 12 point (10 to 12 characters per inch) typeface. Smaller or compressed type and papers with small margins or single-spacing are hard to read. It is better to let your essay run over the recommended number of pages than to try to compress it into fewer pages.
Likewise, large type, large margins, large indentations, triple-spacing, increased leading (space between lines), increased kerning (space between letters), and any other such attempts at “padding” to increase the length of a paper are unacceptable, wasteful of trees, and will not fool your professor.
The paper must be neatly formatted, double-spaced with a one-inch margin on the top, bottom, and sides of each page. When submitting hard copy, be sure to use white paper and print out using dark ink. If it is hard to read your essay, it will also be hard to follow your argument.
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