Reciprocity is an expectation that you will treat others the way they treat you. Indeed, reciprocity is based on a universal understanding that people give back to others who have given first. It’s important to realize that this gift doesn’t have to be a physical item. For example, it can be a smile, a compliment, or information. However, what is important is that the gift is valuable to the recipient.


The Cohen-Bradford Influence Model relies on the almost universal belief that people should be paid back for what they do. It is this underlying belief in how things should work that allows people in difficult situations  to cooperate.

Reciprocity – Real World Example

Providing an email address in exchanges for a free webcast or white paper.

Social Engineering Exploitation Example

Scams which offer a refund for poor tech support but, require your bank information to deposit the money: