Date of Original Version

1996

Type

Article

Rights Management

All Rights Reserved

Abstract or Description

This research investigated the relationship of flattery in obtaining compliance. Thirty male and thirty female students from Carnegie Mellon University were approached by a confederate of the opposite gender and asked to complete a one-page questionnaire. Afterwards, the confederates either flattered the participant using specific or non-specific flattery or did not flatter the participants at all. These assignments were random and the confederate had no knowledge of the treatment prior to approaching the participant. The confederate then asked the participant to complete a five-page questionnaire. We hypothesized that the most compliance would be obtained in the specific flattery condition, followed by the non-specific flattery condition, with the no flattery condition eliciting the least compliance. Our findings supported this hypothesis. We also examined whether women showed more compliance than men across all conditions. Our results indicated that women did show more compliance but only for the two types of flattery conditions. The implications of this study can be applied to areas where flattery would be helpful in obtaining compliance such as in advertising, sales and politics.There are many situations in life in when people are able to convince a person or even an entire group to comply with their wishes. These situations are probably most apparent in the sales industry, advertising industry, and political realm. It is conceivable that in these situations, flattery was used to gain compliance. It is important to research and test this social phenomenon because the findings can be highly relevant not only in the advertising and sales industries and the political realm, but also on a basic level of interactions between people on a daily basis.

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Published In

The Sloping Halls Review, 3.