Encouraging Charitable Contributions: An Examination of Three Models of Door-in-the-Face Compliance

Matthew F. Abrahams, Robert A Bell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


This study tested three models of the door-in-the-face (DITF) compliance strategy—reciprocal concessions, perceptual contrast, and self-presentation. These accounts were tested in a fundraising context by manipulating the variables concession labeling, initial request size, and anticipated future interaction in a 2 × 2 × 2 factorial design with a stand-alone control group. The hypothesized mediating variable for each account—obligation, cost concerns, and image concerns—was assessed. A DITF effect was obtained. With regard to the models, concession labeling led to stronger feelings of obligation to donate, but did not affect compliance. The manipulation of anticipated interaction elevated impression management concerns, but these concerns did not motivate donating. The failure of the concession and self-presentation accounts is explained by their interaction; concession labeling facilitated charity when interaction with the solicitor was anticipated, but backfired when interaction was not expected. No support was found for the perceptual contrast explanation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-153
Number of pages23
JournalCommunication Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


Dive into the research topics of 'Encouraging Charitable Contributions: An Examination of Three Models of Door-in-the-Face Compliance'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this