This study examines two accounts to explain why doing a favor for someone leads to increased compliance from that person. Feelings of obligation and liking are posited as independent mediators of the relationship between favors and compliance. A model was tested with a sample of 73 female undergraduate participants. The model posited that attitude similarity leads to perceived similarity and subsequent feelings of liking, that favors lead to liking and obligation, and that liking and obligation lead to increased compliance. Findings indicated that favors increased liking and obligation and that liking affected compliance but obligation had no effect on compliance. The results challenge conventional wisdom concerning the influence of the norm of reciprocity.
- Norm of reciprocity