The "but you are free to accept or to refuse" technique is a compliance procedure in which someone is approached with a request by simply telling him/her that he/she is free to accept or to refuse the request. This semantic evocation leads to increase compliance with the request. Furthermore, in most of the studies in which this technique was tested, subjects have been asked to give money to a confederate. A new evaluation of the effect of this technique was tested in an experiment in which subjects in the street have been approached to respond to a survey. The results show that, when the semantic evocation of freedom is included in the request, a higher compliance rate occurred. The commitment theory was used to explain such results.
Gueguen, Nicolas and Pascual, Alexandre
"Improving the Response Rate to a Street Survey: An Evaluation of the "But You Are Free to Accept or to Refuse" Technique,"
The Psychological Record: Vol. 55
, Article 7.
Available at: http://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu/tpr/vol55/iss2/7