Does Measuring Intent Change Behavior?
Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 20, pp. 46-61, 1993
Posted: 29 Jun 2009
Date Written: 1993
Past research has established that, while self-reports of purchase intentions can predict behavior, various factors affect the strength of the intentions-behavior link. This article explores one such factor: the impact of merely measuring intent. Our specific question concerns the impact of measuring intent on subsequent purchase behavior. Prior research suggests a mere-measurement hypothesis: that merely measuring intent will increase subsequent purchase behavior. We also suggest a polarization hypothesis: that repeated intent questions will have a polarizing effect on behavior. The results reveal that the effect of merely asking intent to buy once is an increase in the subsequent purchase rate. The effect of repeatedly asking intent for those with low levels of intent is a decreased propensity to buy with repeated measurements. These two effects are reduced given prior experience with the product. The implications of these findings and opportunities for future research are discussed.
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