Deutsch: Anfrage / Español: Solicitud / Português: Pedido / Français: Demande / Italiano: Richiesta

In psychology, a request refers to the act of asking for something, typically involving communication directed at another person to obtain a specific response or action. This concept is significant in various psychological studies, particularly in the areas of social interaction, communication, and behavior modification.

A request is a communicative act in which a person attempts to influence the behavior of another - for example, a child pointing at a milk bottle in order to be given some. Requests may occur in words or gestures.


In the context of psychology, request is often explored through the lenses of social psychology and behavioral psychology. It involves understanding how individuals ask for what they need or want, how requests are framed, and how they influence the behavior of others. Psychological research into requests examines factors such as politeness strategies, directness versus indirectness in language, and the social norms governing the making of requests. The effectiveness of a request can depend on several variables, including the relationship between the individuals involved, the context of the request, and the specific phrasing used.

Requests are a fundamental part of interpersonal communication and can be a tool for asserting needs and boundaries. They are also crucial in therapeutic settings, where therapists might use requests to encourage behavior changes or to set goals with clients.

Application Areas

Requests play a role in several psychological applications, such as:

  • Clinical psychology: Therapists may analyze or utilize the nature of requests made by clients to better understand their interpersonal dynamics or to improve communication skills.
  • Organizational psychology: Understanding how requests can be effectively communicated in the workplace to enhance cooperation and productivity.
  • Educational psychology: Teachers and educators use requests to manage classroom behavior and facilitate a cooperative learning environment.

Well-Known Examples

Studies focusing on requests within psychology include:

  • Research on compliance techniques, such as Robert Cialdini’s principles of influence, which explore how the framing of requests can increase the likelihood of compliance.
  • Investigations into politeness theory by Penelope Brown and Stephen Levinson, which detail how requests are mitigated by politeness to avoid imposing on the listener.

Treatment and Risks

In therapeutic settings, how requests are made and responded to can significantly influence therapeutic outcomes. Poorly framed or inappropriate requests may lead to misunderstandings or resistance. Conversely, well-considered requests can facilitate better relationships and cooperation. Therapists often work with clients to improve their ability to make effective requests, which is crucial for assertive communication and healthy relationships.

Similar Terms

Terms related to requests in psychology might include:

  • Demand: Often implies a stronger or more forceful assertion than a request.
  • Petition: Typically involves a formal request to an authority or public entity, differing from personal or interpersonal requests.

Articles with 'Request' in the title


In psychology, a request is a crucial aspect of social interactions, influencing and reflecting individual behaviors, relationships, and communication dynamics. Understanding the psychological components of making requests can help improve interpersonal relationships and communication efficiency in various settings.


Related Articles

Act of Love at■■■■■■■■■■
Act of Love: In the psychology context, an "act of love" refers to a behavior or action taken by an individual . . . Read More
Social proof at■■■■■■■■■■
In the psychology context, social proof is a psychological phenomenon where individuals look to the behavior . . . Read More
Misattribution at■■■■■■■■■■
Misattribution in the psychology context refers to the incorrect attribution of the source, cause, or . . . Read More
Rule at■■■■■■■■■■
A rule is a principle or regulation governing conduct, action, procedure, or ritual. Rule in the psychology . . . Read More
Convergence at■■■■■■■■■■
In the context of psychology, convergence refers to the tendency for attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors . . . Read More
Respondent at■■■■■■■■■■
The respondent is a person who provides data for analysis by responding to a survey questionnaire. In . . . Read More
Linguist at■■■■■■■■■■
In the psychology context, a "linguist" does not have a direct definition because "linguist" traditionally . . . Read More
Repetition at■■■■■■■■■■
Repetition in psychology refers to the act of repeating or duplicating a specific behavior, thought, . . . Read More
Performance contingency at
Performance contingency is a concept in psychology that refers to the conditions or situations where . . . Read More