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The effectiveness of the “But-you-are-free” technique: Meta-analysis and re-examination of the technique

Résumé : The “But you are free...” (BYAF) technique is a well-known technique from commitment theory and reactance theory, with the addition of these little terms leading to higher compliance to confederates to, for example, give spare for the bus. In this pre-registered meta-analysis, we examine the effect of the BYAF technique in 52 studies (N = 28759). An analysis of 74 effect sizes showed medium effect (g = 0.44, 95% confidence intervals (CI) [0.36, 0.51]) for the BYAF technique. A moderator analysis found an effect stronger for Face-to-face interactivity over others. All the other moderators we used were non-significant, given too few studies involved in one condition. We did not find any differences between articles published before and after Carpenter’s (2013) meta-analysis. Finally, we found several limitations. Most recent studies on the subject are too low-powered, there are some possibilities of publication bias, and recent research questioned the theoretical foundations. We propose some improvements to the design, experiments, and commitment theory to ensure the effects found in the literature exist and are replicable. All materials are available on
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Preprints, Working Papers, ...
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Contributor : Adrien Fillon <>
Submitted on : Friday, October 23, 2020 - 3:03:39 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, October 24, 2020 - 3:35:48 AM

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Adrien Alejandro Fillon, Lionel Souchet, Alexandre Pascual, Fabien Girandola. The effectiveness of the “But-you-are-free” technique: Meta-analysis and re-examination of the technique. 2020. ⟨hal-02976670⟩



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