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Cross-Cultural Investigation of Compliance Without Pressure : The ''You Are Free to. . .'' Technique in France, Ivory Coast, Romania, Russia, and China
Alexandre Pascual, Christophe Oteme, Luminita Samson, Qiong Wang, Séverine Halimi-Falkowicz, Lionel Souchet, Fabien Girandola, Nicolas Guéguen and Robert-Vincent Joule Cross-Cultural Research 2012 46: 394 originally published online 3 October 2012 DOI: 10.1177/1069397112450859 The online version of this article can be found at: http://ccr.sagepub.com/content/46/4/394

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Cross-Cultural Investigation of Compliance Without Pressure: The “You Are Free to. . .” Technique in France, Ivory Coast, Romania, Russia, and China

Cross-Cultural Research 46(4) 394–416 © 2012 SAGE Publications Reprints and permission: http://www. sagepub.com/journalsPermissions.nav DOI: 10.1177/1069397112450859 http://ccr.sagepub.com

Alexandre Pascual1, Christophe Oteme2, Luminita Samson3, Qiong Wang4, Séverine Halimi-Falkowicz4, Lionel Souchet4, Fabien Girandola4, Nicolas Guéguen5, and Robert-Vincent Joule5

Abstract Compliance-without-pressure techniques have been widely studied in North America and West Europe. Among these techniques, the “but you are free” (BYAF) is a verbal compliance procedure that solicits someone to comply with a request by simply telling a person that he or she is free to accept or refuse the request.This technique is interpreted with the commitment theory and the psychological reactance theory which are more relevant in individualistic cultures than in collectivist cultures. So, four studies
1 2

Université Bordeaux Ségalen, Bordeaux Cedex, France Université de Cocody–Abidjan (University of Cocody–Abidjan), Ivory Coast 3 Universitatea de Stat “Alecu Russo” din Bălţi (Alecu State University of Bălţi), Bălţi, Moldova 4 Aix-Marseille Université, Marseille, France 5 Université de Bretagne Sud (University of Southern Brittany), Brittany, Morbihan, France Corresponding Author: Alexandre Pascual, Université Bordeaux Ségalen, Laboratoire de Psychologie (Santé et Qualité de Vie), EA 4139, 3 ter, Place de la Victoire, 33076 Bordeaux Cedex, France Email: alexandre.pascual@u-bordeaux2.fr

Downloaded from ccr.sagepub.com at University of Bucharest on October 29, 2012

individualism. Guéguen. As suggested in the hypothesis.sagepub.com at University of Bucharest on October 29. This technique not only leads to increasing compliance with a request. culture The term compliance without pressure first appeared in 1966 under the pen of Freedman and Fraser within the framework of their research on the foot-inthe-door technique. 395 compared the efficiency of the BYAF technique in collectivist cultures (Ivory Coast. Its concept is simple: By embellishing a request made to another person with the proposal “you are free to. This is contrary to the forced compliance paradigm (or induced) which studies the impact of the realization of an action which is problematic for the subject on the change in attitude (Wicklund & Brehm. whereas 47.5% accepted in the experimental condition. our analysis indicated that the BYAF technique will be much less successful in more collectivist cultures. 2002. Guéguen and Pascual (2000) asked passersby in a street to give them money. thus. This is a set of techniques that may lead people to willingly do what is expected of them (Joule & Beauvois. 2011. compliance with a request. . . 2012 . These authors also found in their experiment that the average amount of donations granted by the participants was higher Downloaded from ccr. 1976). It is through these procedures that individuals submit to diverse types of requests while believing that they have acted out of their own free will. and China) and in individualist cultures (France and Romania). 2007). They found that 10% of the solicited participants complied with the request in the control condition. Joule & Beauvois. In their first study. Keywords induction of a feeling of freedom. that is to say not in opposition to the attitudes and opinions of the participants. collectivism. The “but you are free” technique (BYAF) proposed by Guéguen and Pascual (2000) is one of the most recent compliance-without-pressure paradigms. Russia. but also to increasing subject involvement. 1993. 1998). Such results underline the importance of considering specific cultural contexts in social influence studies. In the experimental condition. the term compliance without pressure.Pascual et al. see Cialdini. these techniques concern behaviors qualified as nonproblematic. numerous compliance-without-pressure studies have been carried out (for review. More precisely.” one can significantly increase the possibility of acceptance. For many decades. their request ended with the phrase “but you are free to accept or refuse” whereas this phrase was not used in the control condition. Pratkanis.

Guéguen. 1966) and the theory of psychological reactance (Brehm. . 2002. Miron & Brehm. Among these factors. filling out a questionnaire. Y will be susceptible to feeling reactance as X is trying to “dictate” to Y what Downloaded from ccr. p. and 4). the feeling of freedom. Jacob & Morineau. Pascual & Guéguen. It is enough to accompany the request made to the subject with a phrase affirming that he is free to do or not to do what is expected of him. The simple induction of a feeling of freedom can therefore facilitate individual compliance to various types of requests such as donating money. in the context of asking strangers for money in the street. 2004. Fifty years of research shows us that it is a powerful factor for committing people to their acts. 1966) could also help interpret the effects produced by the BYAF technique. Thereby. 2006).com at University of Bucharest on October 29.. bringing about higher average donations. participants who were declared free not only complied more often with the request but they also displayed greater generosity by giving larger donations than the participants in the control condition (Guéguen & Pascual. in press. According to Kiesler (1971). everything here seems to be happening as if the context of freedom generated by the proposal “you are free to . 1971. the more he or she is committed to this behavior. is one of the most powerful. Guéguen. or even purchasing a calendar (Guéguen & Pascual. In fact. even certainly the most powerful. Experiments 1. the more an individual is placed in a context of freedom while acting out a particular behavior. Pascual. Kiesler & Sakumura.sagepub. 2002. it is probable that in most cases. Reactance is characterized by a state of negative motivation followed by a threat (perceived as real) of a restriction of individual freedom and leads one to resist its influence. Accordingly. 2012 . two theories can be put forward: The commitment theory (Kiesler. visiting a website. This theory therefore postulates that a threat or loss of freedom will motivate an individual to reconstruct that very freedom.” brought the participants to be more committed to the altruistic behavior expected of them. (Joule & Beauvois. 3. Yet Nothing is easier than creating a context of freedom. 2002). several factors can raise the degree of commitment that individuals have to their actions. To explain this effect. according to the author. 2000. . 2. 2000. Pascual & Dagot. when individual X asks for help from individual Y.396 Cross-Cultural Research 46(4) in the experimental condition than in the control condition. 1998. But the theory of psychological reactance (Brehm. 71) Thus. We consider this phrase to be one of the most fascinating in scientific literature. 1966. Pascual & Guéguen. Guéguen et al.

and of reactance. they behave primarily on the basis of their attitudes rather than the norms of their in-groups” (Triandis. nation. an individual is only expected to take care of himself and his relatives” (Hofstede. and of reactance within individualist and collectivist cultures. 2012 . 599). etc. Actually. Both theories can help in understanding the effects of BYAF and are not alternatives to each other. if X accompanies his or her request with the proposal. shape their behavior primarily on the basis of in-group norms. Y is likely to reject X’s request. tribe. to recuperate his or her freedom. this distinction had already been made by Hofstede (1980) within the framework of organizational psychology. which we will examine through the cultural dimension of individualism and collectivism.com at University of Bucharest on October 29. Hofstede.” it is possible that Y’s rate of reactance will decline noticeably. For this author. the BYAF technique has only been studied in an “individualist” culture (France) and certain elements will lead us to consider BYAF to be less efficient in “collectivist” cultures. In reference to literature coming from cultural and intercultural psychology. “people are interdependent within their in-groups (family. 397 behavior to carry out. on the basis of the annual rankings published by Freedom House. and behave in a communal way” (Triandis.. p. give priority to the goals of their in-groups. In collectivist cultures. the meaning of “individual” liberty can be considered relative and to vary according to cultural context. makes sure of his protection” (Hofstede. & Minkov. Based on these definitions. p. 2010. the BYAF technique may turn out not to be very pertinent in collectivist cultures.). At this point. “a collectivist society is one in which an individual is assimilated from birth into a strong and cohesive in-group which in exchange for his unfailing loyalty. “You are free to.Pascual et al. p. . There would be a supposed restriction of freedom for Y. Downloaded from ccr. In effect. In reality. in individualist cultures “people are autonomous and independent from their in-groups. we will back up our reflection by taking into account the two explicative processes suggested by the theory of commitment. the freest countries in the world are in vast majority individualist countries. 909). the theories of commitment and psychological reactance are not really different because the first focuses on the induction of a feeling of freedom and the second on the threat of getting deprived of this feeling of freedom. However. they give priority to their personal goals over the goals of their in-groups. Within the framework of BYAF. 2001. . & Minkov. This hypothesis makes sense from a theoretical point of view if we focus on the works studying the theory of commitment. These rankings are notably based on a civil liberties index measured for each country. Hofstede. As such. Inversely. 601). p. 2010.sagepub. 2001. 909). “individualism refers to a society in which the links between individuals are loose. which would result in Y being more likely to accept the request. As a consequence of these considerations.

the importance of individual freedom in this theory suggests that it may be limited to individualist values. 2012 . the BYAF technique. a vast intercultural study conducted in 24 countries allowed a strong positive correlation between individualism/collectivism and internality/externality to be put forward (Spector et al. Although few Downloaded from ccr. because of the interdependence among individuals. For this purpose. Desrumaux. In fact. Thus. Psychological Reactance Theory and Individualism/Collectivism Psychological reactance theory is generally presented as universal within the field of social psychology. However. certain data suggest contrasting results contingent on cultural context. 2001). commitment. Norenzayan. 1996). & Nisbett. 1999). 1990. 2001. Although few studies have been done to explain the effects of commitment within collectivist cultures. The individuals favoring a belief in internal control seemed to be more susceptible to compliance-without-pressure techniques (Channouf. Kim and Sherman (2007) showed that offering a choice led American students (individualist culture) to be subsequently more committed to their choice than students coming from East Asia (collectivist culture).398 Cross-Cultural Research 46(4) Commitment Theory and Individualism/ Collectivism According to Joule and Beauvois (1998). This observation suggests that the theory of commitment and therefore. individualists are more likely to see themselves as being at the origin of their behavior as compared to collectivists. Choi. Another way to arrive to this conclusion would be to consider the fact that the explanations individuals give regarding their behavior differ depending on the type of culture they come from. in a given situation. This reasoning leads us to suggest that the BYAF technique may be more efficient in individualist cultures than in collectivist cultures. 1966) within these two types of cultures are along these lines. The results of certain works having studied the concept of locus of control (Rotter. This definition is essentially founded on the basis of studies done on individualist cultures. may be less efficient in collectivist cultures as compared to individualist cultures. corresponds to conditions in which the realization of an action can only be attributable to the person who did it. In collectivist cultures however. conditions in which the realization of an action is only attributable to the individual who did the action may be difficult to assess.sagepub. collectivist cultures have been found to be characterized by a belief in external control whereas individualist cultures are characterized by a belief in internal control (Ng & Zhu.com at University of Bucharest on October 29..

Congo-Brazzaville (Louakima. and South America. According to Triandis (1989). Experiment 5) observed more reactance from American students (individualists) compared to Indian students (collectivists) while using a classic reactance theory method (Brehm. 2000). If as we have previously seen. Markus.1 To test this general hypothesis. according to Hofstede classification. Africa. Experiment 1) showed that participants coming from an individualist culture (students from Western Europe) felt more reactance when their individual freedom was threatened. we used the BYAF technique in a series of four studies in countries characterized as having either an individualist or collectivist cultural orientation. Study 1 In our first study. we will formulate the hypothesis that the BYAF technique is only effective in France. 2000). whereas collectivist cultures would be characteristic of Asia. Congo-Zaire (Westerhof.Pascual et al. 1997). 1966). & Katzko. studies done there are still rare. (2009. Kassea. Nigeria. and South Africa (Eaton & Louw. 2004). & Ikonen. In the same way. To our knowledge. 2012 . Hypothesis The Ivory Coast being considered a country of a collectivist cultural orientation and France of an individualist one. Furthermore. Dittmann-Kohli. Thus BYAF would not be efficient in collectivist cultures whereas it would be in individualist cultures where people are more susceptible to feeling reactance in their daily lives. Works on collectivist countries have mostly been done on Asian cultures and as far as Africa is concerned. It is possible that this is not the case in collectivist cultures where reactance is a much more difficult state to observe.sagepub. the only measure allowing the Ivory Coast to be classified among collectivist countries was taken by Bourgoin (1984) using Hofstede (1980) indicators. 2004).com at University of Bucharest on October 29. we tested the BYAF technique in France and in the Ivory Coast. Downloaded from ccr. and Conner (2008. Cameroon (Pirttilä-Backman. Jonas et al. Savani. compared to students coming from a collectivist culture (students from East Asia). the induction of a feeling of freedom generated by the BYAF technique decreases reactance in individuals. 399 studies have been conducted on the matter. individualist cultures include Northern and Western Europe as well as North America. and Sierra-Leone). Some countries in this continent have nonetheless been identified as “collectivist” such as Kenya (Vaunne & Schoeneman. the value of individualism is scored 71 for France and 20 for West Africa (including Ghana.

96.sagepub. The results presented in Figure 1 show that the BYAF technique had a significant effect in France. but I’m a student and for my studies I’m required to have people in the street fill out questionnaires. you are free to accept or refuse. there was more compliance in the control condition in the Ivory Coast than in France. sorry to bother you.13. would you help me by filling one out?” BYAF formulation: “Hello. Downloaded from ccr. France (two urban cities) to ask them to fill out a questionnaire composed of 17 items (target request). the experimenter had him or her fill out the questionnaire. Ivory Coast. Results We used separate one-way Chi Square tests on compliance rates for each country. p < .05. Procedure Eight Ivorian students (7 males and 1 female) and eight French students (7 males and 1 female) who were unaware of the hypothesis of the study were the experimenters in their respective countries. φ = .90.09. χ²(1.” If the subject accepted. The experimenters formulated their request in one of the following two ways: Control formulation: “Hello. However. φ = . 222) = 3. p < . ns. The participants who went on their way before the experimenter finished reciting the formulation where not accounted for in the study. χ²(1.002.25. sorry to bother you. but I’m a student and for my studies I’m required to have people in the street fill out questionnaires. 387) = 2. 2012 . the subject was thanked and then the experimenter indicated at the bottom of the questionnaire whether the control formulation or the BYAF formulation had been used. but not in the Ivory Coast. φ = .78. would you help me by filling one out? Of course. and Bordeaux. χ²(1. They were instructed to approach passersby that were alone in pedestrian streets in the cities of Abidjan.09. p > .400 Cross-Cultural Research 46(4) Method Participants A total of 609 men and women passersby (387 Ivorians and 222 French people) between 25 to 50 years of age participated in the study. 357) = 1.com at University of Bucharest on October 29.

2012 . Rate of acceptance of the target request (filling out a questionnaire) contingent on the country and the formulation used Discussion Our hypothesis is supported as the BYAF technique was associated with more acquiescence in France and was not significant in the Ivory Coast. In the case of Romania. and Romania.. France has always been characterized as being an individualist country (Hofstede et al.6% Control condition BYAF condition France Country Ivory Coast Figure 1. So the request used in this study may not have been considered demanding enough for the Ivorian participants.1% 68. 2010. this is to be considered with caution because the results obtained in the Ivory Coast can possibly be attributed to a high level of compliance in the control condition (60. we will have recourse to studies following a more demanding request which will therefore be more difficult to comply with. we tested the BYAF technique in France. Andayani. 2010) and Russia as a collectivist country (Hofstede et al.Pascual et al.com at University of Bucharest on October 29. Grossmann and Varnum (2011) found that Russians endorse more interdependent self-views than Americans. Kouznetsova. the efficiency in the experimental group is found to be reduced.1%). Russia.7% 39.. However. In the literature. Matsumoto. even if the Hofstede (1980) classification clearly identified it as being a collectivist country.5% 60. Experiment 5). it seems that is no longer the situation today Downloaded from ccr. 1998). Takeuchi. This is a frequently observed phenomenon in the field of social influence that is to say that although the level of compliance in the control condition is high. 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 401 52.sagepub. This had already been observed in France with BYAF by Pascual (2002. & Krupp. Study 2 In our second study. To avoid this potential bias. Recently.

com at University of Bucharest on October 29. 2002. the degree of individualism in a given country can vary throughout the course of time (Spector. heading toward an individualist orientation and France being a country of an individualist orientation. Carlson. 1980) but 65 nowadays (Van den Berg.2 Hypothesis Russia being a country of a collectivist orientation. Shulruf et al. For example. 2009. Heintz. and 120 Russians [60 males and 60 females]) participated in the study. & Sparks. Mexico which was initially classified among collectivist countries by Hofstede (1980) was later classified among individualist cultures by Fernandez. Since the classification of Romania among collectivist countries (Hofstede. Stepina. The authors attributed this change to the economic development that took place in this country between the two evaluations. Romania scored 30 in past time (Hofstede. Cooper. 2009). Romania has therefore most likely gone from a collectivist orientation to an individualist orientation (Ciochină & Faria. 2011). 1980). Procedure In all three countries. we will formulate the hypothesis that the BYAF technique will only have a significant effect in France and Romania. 2001). using Hofstede’s measure of individualism. Method Participants A total of 360 adult men and women (120 French people [60 males and 60 females]. For example. the same trilingual female experimenter3 approached people that were alone in public places. The exchanges took place in the cities of Aix-en-Provence and Marseille in France. and Nicholson (1997). then among partially free countries until 1995 and finally as a free country up until today. 2011). Individualism is most notably present in countries that are considered to be democratic and the European Union is essentially composed of individualist cultures.402 Cross-Cultural Research 46(4) (Ciochină & Faria. this country has seen at least two important social events: (a) the end of a communist dictatorship in 1989 with the advent of democracy and (b) accession to the European Union in 2007. The analysis of the annual Freedom House reports since 1972 indicate that Romania was classified among nonfree countries from 1972 until 1990.. in Iassi and Piatra-Neamt in Downloaded from ccr. 2012 . Romania. 120 Romanians [60 males and 60 females]. Therefore.sagepub.

100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 403 38.3% 20% 25% 46. p < .). χ²(1. excuse me for bothering you. 120) = 0.13. I have something to ask you.7% 25% Control condition BYAF condition 18.3% France Romania Country Russia Figure 2.com at University of Bucharest on October 29. While wearing a smile and maintaining eye contact. p < .79. But of course.02. I’m doing a survey on political opinions to know what people think of politicians: their personalities. Downloaded from ccr. I’m doing a survey on political opinions to know what people think of politicians: their personalities. φ = . Would you have 10 minutes to respond to this questionnaire?” (The experimenter held the questionnaire in her hand.23. 120) = 6.” Results We used separate one-way chi square tests on compliance rates for each country. excuse me for bothering you. their actions. Rate of acceptance of the target request (filling out a questionnaire) contingent on the country and the formulation used Romania.sagepub. χ²(1.03. I have something to ask you. χ²(1. 120) = 4.Pascual et al. BYAF formulation (30 male and 30 female participants in each country): “Hello. and in Puskina and Moscow in Russia (6 urban cities).88. the experimenter asked the participants to fill out a questionnaire and alternated the formulation of her request between the two following manners: Control formulation (30 male and 30 female participants in each country): “Hello. and in Romania.). but not in Russia. their actions. you are free to accept or refuse. Would you have 10 minutes to respond to this questionnaire? (The experimenter held the questionnaire in her hand. 2012 . φ = . The results presented in Figure 2 indicate that the BYAF technique had a significant effect in France.20.

Burger & Cornelius. φ = . in France as in Russia. Hypothesis In line with the results from Study 2. 1972. a country heading toward an individualist orientation and France a country of an individualist orientation. φ = .sagepub. χ²(1. 2003. Romania.3% and 25%). Discussion Our hypothesis is supported as the BYAF technique had a significant effect in the countries that we had considered to be individualist (France and Romania) whereas no significant effect was found in the collectivist country (Russia). ns.08. Method Participants A total of 360 adult men and women (120 French people [60 males and 60 females]. & Pratkanis. 2012 .02. Howard. χ²(1. a classic request in the field of compliance without pressure (Abrahams & Bell. p > .404 Cross-Cultural Research 46(4) p > . 2002. Santos. Harris. 120 Romanians [60 males and 60 females]. Furthermore. as well as in Romania as in Russia. Pascual & Guéguen. ns.81. 120) = 0. φ = . In this case. we will formulate the hypothesis that the BYAF technique will only have a significant effect in France and Romania. the comparison of the control conditions indicate that the target request was accepted in the same proportions in France as in Romania. 120) = 0. These results appear more reliable than those found in Study 1 because the control conditions in all three countries present similar compliance rates (between 18.79. Downloaded from ccr. Kleinke. ns. χ²(1. passerby will be asked for money. p > .37.51. 1976. φ = . ns. Leve. 1977. we tried to replicate the results obtained in Study 2 in France.06.43. and Russia while changing the target request. p > .05. Russia being a country of a collectivist orientation. Cialdini & Schroeder. and 120 Russians [60 males and 60 females]) participated in the study.com at University of Bucharest on October 29. In Study 3. 120) = 0.08.37. we found no effect of the gender of the participants per condition or country on compliance rate. Furthermore. 1994). 1994. 1990. Romania. Study 3 In the two previous studies the target request was asking participants to fill out a questionnaire.

However. but not in Russia.06. excuse me for bothering you. p < .03. Could you please help me out? I absolutely need to take the bus.64. 405 Procedure In all three countries. p > .Pascual et al. the same trilingual female experimenter4 approached people that were waiting alone at bus stops. φ = . φ = . and in Romania. even if the hypothesis in studies 2 and 3 has been supported. p > . p > . this is to be considered with caution.21. χ²(1. ns. χ²(1. these amounts are the approximate equivalent of half the price of a bus ticket in each country). excuse me for bothering you. χ²(1.com at University of Bucharest on October 29.06.73. the comparison of the control conditions indicates that the target request was accepted in the same proportions in France as in Romania. 120) = 4.48. and 15 Rubli in Russia.91. 2012 . 120) = 0. 120) = 0. In addition. ns.22. ns. as well as in Romania as in Russia.48. p < .10. in Iassi and Piatra-Neamt in Romania. Downloaded from ccr. p > . in France as in Russia. Similarly to the results in Study 2. Furthermore.20. I have something to ask you.” BYAF formulation (30 male and 30 female participants in each country): “Hello.26. Could you please help me out? I absolutely need to take the bus. 60 Bani in Romania. χ²(1. The results presented in Figure 3 indicate that the BYAF technique had a significant effect in France.02. 120) = 0. But of course. ns. 120) = 5. φ = . you are free to accept or refuse.sagepub. χ²(1.81. 120) = 1. I forgot my change purse at home and I need 60 cents/60 Bani/15 Rubli to take the bus (the experimenter was already holding 50 cents/60 Bani/15 Rubli in her hand). The exchanges took place in the cities of Aix-en-Provence and Marseille in France.” Results We used separate one-way chi-square tests on compliance rates for each country. The experimenter asked the participants for the favor of giving her some change (60 cents of a Euro in France. χ²(1. I have something to ask you. no effect of the gender of participants per condition or country on compliance rate was observed. She alternated the formulation of her request between the following two manners: Control formulation (30 male and 30 female participants in each country): “Hello. φ = .04.26. φ = 02. φ = . I forgot my change purse at home and I need 60 cents/60 Bani/15 Rubli to take the bus (the experimenter was already holding 50 cents/60 Bani/15 Rubli in her hand). and in Puskina and Moscow in Russia (6 urban cities).

our hypothesis is supported as the BYAF technique had a significant effect in France and Romania but not in Russia. Asians define themselves by their group memberships: as interdependent.7%). Study 4 does not present this drawback. and Russia had very comparable rates of compliance (between 16. we did a pretest to measure the individual/collectivist scores of French and Chinese students before testing the BYAF techniques in this segment of the population of both countries. According to Markus and Downloaded from ccr. the control conditions in France. we tested the BYAF technique in cultures classified as individualist or collectivist based on elements found in literature. However. these results seem reliable as the target request seems to have been perceived the same way in all three countries. Furthermore. Discussion Similarly to Study 2. 2012 .3% 18.com at University of Bucharest on October 29.406 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Cross-Cultural Research 46(4) 40% 21. Romania. values. Westerners define themselves by their personality traits. Rate of acceptance of the request (accepting to give some money) contingent on the country and the formulation used Indeed. we did not directly measure the individualism/collectivism scores of the populations studied. Study 4 In the three previous studies.7% and 21.sagepub.7% 38.7% Control condition 25% BYAF condition France Romania Country Russia Figure 3. and personal attributes: as independent individuals. In fact.3% 16. we don’t know if speaking with a foreign rather than a national accent in asking a small favor may not create a bias in the two studies. In fact.

Chinese students obtained an average score of 4.12 (σ = 0. whereas Asians define themselves by their group memberships: as interdependent. The COS was translated from English into French and Chinese and was validated by iterative forward..com at University of Bucharest on October 29. Meyer. on average.sagepub.and back-translation to reach an optimal level of translation. Chinese students should have higher collectivism scores than French students. Chinese students were also found to be more collectivist with an average score of 4. relatively more individuals in individualistic cultures have an independent self and inversely an interdependent self in collectivist cultures. 2001). the more a subject is collectivist. So. Regarding the normative dimension of the COS.24 (σ = 0. Hypothesis According to Markus and Kitayama (1991).01. cultural differences are a product of cultural norms which favor an independent or interdependent conception of oneself.37) for the French students. Each of these dimensions is measured by 13 items on a scale of 1 to 7. and Wolfradt (1994). Westerners define themselves by their personality traits. Chinese students are more collectivist than French students. values. Spector et al. 2012 . and personal attributes: as independent individuals. Method Pretest Two hundred Chinese students (89 males and 111 females) and 200 French students (87 males and 113 females) filled out The Cultural Orientation Scale (COS) by Bierbrauer. t(398) = 2. cultural differences are a product of cultural norms which favor an independent or interdependent conception of oneself. Downloaded from ccr. The higher the score. This result is consistent with the literature that classifies China among countries of a collectivist orientation (Fernandez et al. China being considered a country of a collectivist cultural orientation and France of an individualist one. p < . t(398) = 2.55.42) for the French students.01. p < .47) compared to 4. Regarding the evaluative dimension of the COS. Thus.48) compared to 4.69 (σ = 0. This tool allows collectivism to be measured on two dimensions: the normative dimension of collectivism and the evaluative dimension of collectivism.57 (σ = 0. 407 Kitayama (1991).Pascual et al. we will formulate the hypothesis that the BYAF technique will only have a significant effect in France. 1997.80. because the construal of the self is linked with cultural context.. In light of our pretest.

The participants were approached in university classrooms where no classes were taking place because that is generally where students work. 2012 . In both countries. BYAF formulation (16 male and 16 female participants in each country): “Hello. the experimenter gave him or her the questionnaire adding. Do you have a half an hour to respond to an anonymous questionnaire of a hundred questions? Of course. In China. It consists of a hundred items related to attitudes. “Thank you. None of these students were majoring in psychology. Procedure In France. I’m a student in social sciences and I’m doing a survey on environmental protection. Do you have a half an hour to respond to an anonymous questionnaire of a hundred questions?” If the subject accepted. an experimenter approached students working alone and asked them to fill out a questionnaire (which would take around 30 min). Take your time and respond as sincerely as possible.” Once the questionnaire was filled out. “Thank you. the study was conducted at the University of Economics and Business of Shijiazhuang (approximately 9 million inhabitants) located around 350 km southwest of Beijing. the library being only for checking out documents.” Once the questionnaire was filled out.sagepub.” If the subject accepted. She alternated the formulation of her request between the two following manners: Control formulation (16 male and 16 female participants in each country): “Hello. that the request be too easily accepted in the control condition. the study took place at the University of Burgundy in the library. the experimenter thanked the subject. the questionnaire adding. Take your time and respond as sincerely as possible. as was the case in Study 1. you’re free to accept or not. Downloaded from ccr. motivations as well as the level of satisfaction of the students toward the protection of the environment. this was to avoid having students with knowledge of works done on compliance without pressure.408 Cross-Cultural Research 46(4) Participants A total of 128 students (64 French [32 males and 32 females] and 64 Chinese [32 males and 32 females]) participated in the study. The questionnaire response time (a half an hour) was chosen to avoid.com at University of Bucharest on October 29. I’m a student in social sciences and I’m doing a survey on environmental protection. the experimenter gave him or her. the experimenter thanked the subject.

409 Results We used separate one-way chi-square tests on compliance rates for each country. Wosinska. let’s remember that France’s state motto is Liberty.08. ns. Guéguen (2011). the rates of compliance in the control conditions of both countries were very close (21. Equality.04. We have asked whether all these techniques remain valid in other cultural contexts (Cialdini.02. & Gornik-Durose. Butner. p < . and 3.9% vs. We have seen that the theories of commitment and of psychological reactance.11. it is in this type of cultural context where people are more likely to aspire a feeling of individual freedom. our results cannot be attributable to a difference in perception of the difficulty of the target request. nearly all the references cited in Cialdini (1993). χ²(1.41. Barrett.sagepub. The results presented in Figure 4 indicate that the BYAF technique had a significant effect in France. χ²(1. that is what is implied by the results obtained in the three collectivist countries Downloaded from ccr. 64) = 0. 15. but not in China. φ = . the BYAF technique only had a significant effect in France. are cited by the researchers to explain the effects of the BYAF technique (Guéguen et al.74.52. A complementary analysis of the control conditions indicates that the target request was accepted in the same proportions in France as in China. Joule and Beauvois (2002) or Pratkanis (2007) are North American. Fraternity and the word liberty is placed first. 64) = 0. where they have been studied in greatest numbers. ns.. 2. Summary Results and Discussion If we look into the cultural origin of compliance-without-pressure strategies.com at University of Bucharest on October 29. p > . 64) = 5. φ = . Therefore. In fact. 1999). As such. 2004). For example. Furthermore. as could be the case in Study 1. we will find that they are mostly from North America and it is there. Discussion After verifying with the help of the COS that the Chinese were more collectivist than the French. p > .50. Inversely. Indeed. likely rendering the BYAF technique ineffective. φ = . the results in Study 4 confirm those obtained in studies 1. the concept of individual liberty has little social value or even meaning. we hypothesized that it was only in “individualist” cultural contexts (France and Romania) that the BYAF technique would have a significant effect. 2012 . in collectivist cultures where people are more interdependent.Pascual et al. χ²(1.29. In any case.6%). which are more relevant in individualistic cultures than in collectivist cultures.

23 . Table 1 shows the average BYAF effect size obtained in individualist cultures (φ = .71.08).09 .002. t(8) = 4.13 .410 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Cross-Cultural Research 46(4) 50% 21.20 .9% 15. Effect Size of the BYAF Technique Among Countries Study 1 2 2 3 3 4 1 2 3 4 Country France France Romania France Romania France Ivory Coast Russia Russia China Effect size (φ) .8% Control condition BYAF condition France Country China Figure 4.08 .6% 18.21 Collectivist .22 .com at University of Bucharest on October 29.10 . Russia and China. These results were expected as collectivist individuals aren’t as easily convinced to partake in an action and are less susceptible to reactance than individualists. Rate of acceptance of the target request (filling out a questionnaire) contingent on the country and the formulation used Table 1.08 we considered: the Ivory Coast. it should be noted that it was in the countries of our study classified as being free (France and Romania) by the Downloaded from ccr.sagepub.04 Cultural orientation Individualist Mean effect size (φ) . p < .20 . 2012 . If we acknowledge that individualist societies are characterized by a much greater level of individual freedom.21) to be clearly superior to this average in collectivist cultures (φ = .29 .

Chile. So. Notes 1. Our four studies allowed us to demonstrate that as we had hypothesized. South Korea. whereas if people do not possess an independent self. collectivist) or the statute of this country which reinforces the effectiveness of the BYAF. In conclusion. and China are among the countries classified as nonfree according to the Freedom House and no significant effect from the BYAF technique could be observed in any of them. France has been classified as a free country since 1972.5 a limit in our studies is that we don’t know whether it’s the type of culture (individualist vs. Petrova. Downloaded from ccr. Our general hypothesis is compatible with Markus and Kitayama’s (1991. So. although there does not exist not free country having an individualistic culture. 2010) theory of independent vs. whereas it wouldn’t be in the three collectivist cultures (Ivory Coast.com at University of Bucharest on October 29. 1999. the technique will be probably not effective. whereas in collectivistic cultures the self is viewed as interdependent from others. In individualistic cultures the self is generally viewed as independent from others. and/or publication of this article.Pascual et al. and/or publication of this article. Future studies will allow us to see. that the BYAF technique had a significant effect. Funding The authors received no financial support for the research. and Japan. Kilbourne. we would like to emphasize that in the literature on compliance-without-pressure techniques. there are few intercultural studies (Cialdini et al. interdependent self. 2007). Declaration of Conflicting Interests The authors declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research. Russia. future research could thus be carried out in the few free countries with collectivist cultures such as Costa Rica. This field of research offers many prospects for understanding the underlying processes of diverse techniques. when the first Freedom House report was issued and Russia has been classified as a nonfree country since its creation in 1991. whether this hypothesis is equally valid in other countries composed of both individualist and collectivist cultures. & Sills. 1989. 2. individualism is strongly correlated with the free statute of a country. Inversely. However. authorship. and China). Taiwan.. as it can be supposed. Russia. Cape Verde. Brazil. the BYAF works because it affirms the independent self. 2012 . Ghana. 411 Freedom House. Cialdini. the BYAF technique would be effective in the two individualist cultures (France and Romania).sagepub. the Ivory Coast. authorship.

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G. Séverine Halimi-Falkowicz is an assistant professor of information and communication sciences at the Aix-Marseille University in France. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology. and communication. Qiong Wang is currently a doctoral dissertation student at the Aix-Marseille University in France. He conducts research on social influence. Lionel Souchet is an assistant professor of information and communication sciences at the Aix-Marseille University in France..416 Cross-Cultural Research 46(4) Westerhof. Bios Alexandre Pascual is an assistant professor of social psychology at the University of Bordeaux Segalen in France. social influence. F. & Katzko. M. The United States and Congo/Zaire as an example. Fabien Girandola is a professor of social psychology at the Aix-Marseille University in France. 31. J. Downloaded from ccr. 2012 . Robert-Vincent Joule is a professor of social psychology at the Aix-Marseille University in France. and communication. He conducts research on social influence. His research interests focus principally on forced compliance and compliance without pressure. Christophe Oteme is an assistant professor of social psychology at the University of Cocody in Ivory Coast.. W. cognitive dissonance. New York. Individualism and collectivism in the personal meaning system of elderly adults. His research focuses on behavioral influence process. & Brehm.sagepub. 649-676. Dittman-Kohli. Wicklund. NY: Wiley. (1976). R. W. Luminita Samson is a doctor of social psychology at the Alecu State University of Bãlþi in Moldova. (2000). and social representation. cognitive dissonance. Nicolas Guéguen is a professor of social behavior at the University of Bretagne-Sud in France. His research interests focus principally on communication. J.com at University of Bucharest on October 29.. His research interests focus on atmospherics and consumer behavior and compliance-gaining procedures. A. Perspectives on cognitive dissonance.