Escalation of Commitment
Escalation of commitment (also known in persuasion as the “foot in the door” technique, or a “consistency trap”, or a “compliance ladder”) consists of asking something small so that you can start asking more and bigger things afterwards.
There are two main persuasion techniques, and this is one of them:
- The “door in the face” technique, which is the opposite of this. You ask for something big, to get rejected and then ask for something small, which will work (you get the “door slammed in your face” so you can then ask for something smaller);
- This works as a type of negative anchoring technique, and it also works due to perceptual contrast;
- The “foot in the door” technique, which is this one. You start with something small, whatever it is, and then ramp it up (you get your “foot in the door” to crack it open, no matter how small, and then you slowly open it more and more);