The norm of reciprocity (Gouldner, 1960) has only been considered and experimentally demonstrated between two individuals. However, comments from several authors invite the consideration of an expanded form of this norm. 120 passersby, randomly assigned to 3 conditions, were asked to watch a confederate’s belongings. Depending on the condition, they had either previously been given a gift or not. In addition, the gift was offered by either the confederate making the target request or by a second confederate, not initially involved. First, results show that passersby are significantly more likely to comply with the target request if they were offered a gift than if they weren’t no matter who the confederate was. Second, the confederate offering the gift gets significantly more compliance than the one not initially involved. Results are discussed in terms of self-presentation theory (Pendleton & Batson, 1979), internalization of norm (Schwartz & Howard, 1981) and positive mood induction (Isen & Al, 1978).
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