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Unnamed comments on Doing your good deed for the day - Less Wrong

115 Post author: Yvain 27 October 2009 12:45AM

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Comment author: Unnamed 27 October 2009 11:55:50PM *  11 points [-]

There have been other studies showing that the self-image escalation effect (found in the foot-in-the-door study) extends beyond specific behaviors (like putting up signs) to more general types of behavior (like supporting good causes in the community) or personality traits (like honesty). In the study I described, signing a petition (instead of putting a sign in your window) also works at increasing your chances of agreeing to put a big sign in your yard. In another study, second graders were asked not to play with a desirable toy, using a mild request that made it seem (to the child) that it was their own choice not to play with the toy. The prediction was that this would lead the kids to see themselves as good boys/girls for not playing with the forbidden toy. Compared to a control group (or a group of children who were given a sterner warning, so that they saw the adult as requiring them not to play with the toy), those kids described themselves as more honest, and a couple weeks later they were less likely to cheat at a game in order to win a prize.