Suppose I want to borrow an item, such as a phone charger from someone.

Instead of directly asking them, "Could I borrow a charger?"

I first ask this question: "Do you have a charger?"

The act of asking a question of fact (whether they have the item or not) will make them more willing to lend you the item.

Is there a term or explanation for this?

Is this related or similar to the Ben Franklin effect and Anchoring effect?


1 Answer 1


The effect you ask about could very well be seen as an example of the Ben Franklin effect, also known as the foot-in-the-door phenomenon. In your example, replying to the question "Do you have a charger?" would be interpreted as a small favor which is then followed by the bigger favor of lending the item.


Beaman, A. L., Cole, C. M., Preston, M., Klentz, B., & Steblay, N. M. (1983). Fifteen Years of Foot-in-the Door Research. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 9(2), 181-196.
DOI: 10.1177/0146167283092002

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Psychology.SE Where possible it is preferred if you can provide a DOI or PMID number and link for easy retrieval of articles referenced so I helped out by adding it to your reference $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 7, 2018 at 0:34

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