License to Sin: The Liberating Role of Reporting Expectations

Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 34, June 2007

10 Pages Posted: 11 Jun 2007 Last revised: 19 Oct 2011

Gavan J. Fitzsimons

Duke University - Fuqua School of Business

Joseph Nunes

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business

Patti Williams

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School

Abstract

This research examines the impact of asking intention questions about "vice behaviors," or behaviors about which respondents simultaneously hold both negative explicit and positive implicit attitudes. Asking questions about the likelihood of engaging in behaviors for which respondents maintain conflicting attitude structures appears to give respondents a "license to sin," resulting in increased rates of behavior versus those of a control group not asked intention questions. However, when provided with defensive tools that highlight the negative explicit component of their attitudes toward the behaviors, respondents are able to dampen the increase in behavior caused by the act of prediction.

Keywords: license, sin, liberating, reporting

Suggested Citation

Fitzsimons, Gavan J. and Nunes, Joseph and Williams, Patti, License to Sin: The Liberating Role of Reporting Expectations. Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 34, June 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=992056

Gavan J. Fitzsimons (Contact Author)

Duke University - Fuqua School of Business ( email )

Box 90120
Durham, NC 27708-0120
United States

Joseph Nunes

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business ( email )

701 Exposition Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

Patti Williams

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

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