When Consumers Don't Recognize 'Benign' Intention Questions as Persuasion Attempts

11 Pages Posted: 20 Oct 2011

See all articles by Patti Williams

Patti Williams

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School

Gavan J. Fitzsimons

Duke University - Fuqua School of Business

Lauren Block

City University of New York - Allen G. Aaronson Department of Marketing & International Business

Date Written: December 1, 2004

Abstract

We demonstrate that the mere-measurement effect occurs because asking an intention question is not perceived as a persuasion attempt. In experiments 1 and 2, we show that when persuasive intent is attributed to an intention question, consumers adjust their behavior as long as they have sufficient cognitive capacity to permit conscious correction. In experiment 3 we demonstrate that this finding holds with product choice and consumption, and we find that persuasion knowledge mediates the effects. In experiment 4, we show that when respondents are educated that an intention question is a persuasive attempt, the behavioral impact of those questions is attenuated.

Suggested Citation

Williams, Patti and Fitzsimons, Gavan J. and Block, Lauren, When Consumers Don't Recognize 'Benign' Intention Questions as Persuasion Attempts (December 1, 2004). Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 31, 2004. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1946357

Patti Williams (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Gavan J. Fitzsimons

Duke University - Fuqua School of Business ( email )

Box 90120
Durham, NC 27708-0120
United States

Lauren Block

City University of New York - Allen G. Aaronson Department of Marketing & International Business ( email )

One Bernard Baruch Way, B12-240
New York, NY 10010-5585
United States

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