A Critical Review of Question-Behavior Effect Research

70 Pages Posted: 20 Nov 2009  

Utpal M. Dholakia

Rice University - Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business

Date Written: November 5, 2009

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Dholakia, Utpal M., A Critical Review of Question-Behavior Effect Research (November 5, 2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1508869 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1508869

Utpal M. Dholakia (Contact Author)

Rice University - Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business ( email )

6100 South Main Street
P.O. Box 1892
Houston, TX 77005-1892
United States

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