A Critical Review of Question-Behavior Effect Research
70 Pages Posted: 20 Nov 2009
Date Written: November 5, 2009
This chapter reviews research on the question-behavior effect, the phenomenon that asking questions influences respondents’ behavior. Two distinct research streams, the self-prophecy effect, concerned with socially normative behaviors, and the mere measurement effect, dealing with purchase behaviors without socially normative significance, are identified. Despite the recent attempt at integration, it is argued that there are fundamental differences between the two effects. Distinctions are also drawn between lab-based and field-based mere measurement effects, and between normatively consistent and implicit attitude-driven, normatively inconsistent self-prophecy effects. Key studies, theoretical explanations, and moderators of each effect are discussed, potential unanswered questions and research opportunities are identified, and significant managerial and policy implications are highlighted.
Keywords: Question Behavior Effect, Mere Measuement Effect, Self-Prophecy Effect, Effects of Surveys
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