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”Thanks in Advance”: The Negative Effect of a Polite Phrase on Compliance with a Request

Author

Listed:
  • Lisa Bruttel

    () (University of Potsdam)

  • Lisa Juri Nithammer

    () (University of Potsdam)

  • Florian Stolley

    () (University of Potsdam)

Abstract

This paper studies the effect of the commonly used phrase “thanks in advance” on compliance with a small request. In a controlled laboratory experiment we ask participants to give a detailed answer to an open question. The treatment variable is whether or not they see the phrase “thanks in advance.” Our participants react to the treatment by exerting less effort in answering the request even though they perceive the phrase as polite.

Suggested Citation

  • Lisa Bruttel & Lisa Juri Nithammer & Florian Stolley, 2019. "”Thanks in Advance”: The Negative Effect of a Polite Phrase on Compliance with a Request," CEPA Discussion Papers 07, Center for Economic Policy Analysis.
  • Handle: RePEc:pot:cepadp:07
    as

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    File URL: https://doi.org/10.25932/publishup-42770
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    4. Mohlin, Erik & Johannesson, Magnus, 2008. "Communication: Content or relationship?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 65(3-4), pages 409-419, March.
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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    labor compliance behavior; gratitude; reciprocity; experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making

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