One college professor selected names at random from a phone listing, after which despatched these full strangers his Christmas playing cards. Vacation playing cards addressed to him got here pouring again, all from individuals who didn’t know him and, for that matter, who had by no means even heard of him.
In one other research, researcher Dennis Regan had two people attempt to promote raffle tickets to unsuspecting staff. One particular person made a conscientious effort to befriend the employees earlier than making an attempt to promote any tickets. The opposite particular person made a degree of being impolite and obnoxious across the staff. Whereas on a break, the person who had beforehand been impolite to his prospects purchased them drinks earlier than making an attempt to get them to purchase tickets. The outcomes of the research confirmed that the impolite particular person really bought twice as many raffle tickets, despite the fact that the opposite had been a lot nicer and extra likable.
On one other event, a person was stranded on the facet of the highway as a result of his automobile had run out of gasoline. A younger man pulled over and recognized himself as a pal of the person’s daughter. He took the person to get gasoline after which introduced him again to his automobile. In fact, feeling indebted, the person mentioned, “In case you ever want something, simply ask.” Three weeks later, capitalizing on the provide, the younger man requested if he may borrow the person’s costly automobile. The person’s greatest judgment screamed, “Are you loopy? You do not know in case you can belief this child to get it again to you in a single piece!” However the psychological strain to fulfill his obligation to the younger man gained out over his higher judgment and he loaned the younger man his automobile.
The strain to reciprocate is robust sufficient that when folks do not return the favor, they’re seen with contempt and disgust. Accepting presents or favors with out making an attempt to return them is universally seen as egocentric, grasping, and heartless. It’s usually strictly attributable to this inside and exterior strain that individuals conform to the rule of reciprocity.