The Effects of Situation
on the Use or Suppression
of Possible Compliance-
Dale Hample and Judith M. Dallinger
Scholars in the communication discipline have always understood that people should say different sorts of things in different situations, even assuming that the same primary goal is in force. We request favors from friends differently than we ask strangers, we comfort loved ones differently than a therapist counsels a client, and we persuade a child differently than a political candidate addresses a nominating convention. This chapter is concerned with interpersonal persuasion—the ways in which we try to get another person to comply with our wishes. Here, too, we would expect that we would approach a romantic intimate differently than a supervisor, that we would phrase things differently under stress, and that the history of our relationship with the other person would make a difference in our choice of communication and persuasive strategies.
As we might expect, therefore, interest in situational effects has been evident from the earliest days of work on compliance-gaining tactics and strategies (G. R. Miller, Boster, Roloff, & Seibold, 1977). Many situational variables have been studied, and individual experimental reports have offered conclusions about the effects of these variables on people's choice of