Question Behavior Effect


Ioannis Kareklas seeks articles for a meta-analysis of the effects of questioning on the future performance of the questioned behavior

Dear researchers,

I am working with Eric Spangenberg, David Sprott, and Berna Devezer on a meta-analysis of the “Question Behavior Effect” literature. In particular, we are meta-analyzing any empirical work that tests the effects of questioning on the future performance of the questioned behavior. While various terms have been used to describe this work since Sherman’s (1980) initial introduction of the effect, the majority of this research has been referred to in the literature as the “mere measurement effect” or the “self-prophecy effect.”  A variety of newer papers have arguably examined the same topic without using these nomenclatures (e.g., research using satisfaction measures). In our meta-analysis, we want to include all available manuscripts reporting empirical QB effects, both published and unpublished. Appended below is an initial list of articles addressing or incorporating the QB effect in one manner or another (not all of which report new empirical findings, but are included for reference).  

To help us in this process, I am writing today to ask you two things:

(1) Could you please take a moment and review the list below? I would appreciate if you could identify any published articles you feel relate to the QB effect that are missing from out list.

(2) Do you have any unpublished QB studies?  If so, could you please share your findings with us (even null findings are of course appreciated for our purposes).

If you have any questions regarding our request, please don’t hesitate to contact me or one of my colleagues.  As I am sure you are aware, it is important to identify as complete a list of studies as possible in order to conduct a solid meta-analysis.  As such, we appreciate any time and attention you might devote to the above requests.

Best regards,

 Ioannis Kareklas, Ph.D.
 Assistant Professor of Marketing
 Washington State University
 375 Todd Addition
 Pullman, WA  99164-4730
 (509) 335-2781


Appendix: Published and unpublished articles on question-behavior effects


1.      Anderson, Eric T., Karsten Hansen, and Manish Tripathi (2007), "Measuring the Mere Measurement Effect in Non-Experimental Field Settings," Working Paper.


2.      Borle, Sharad, Utpal M. Dholakia, Siddharth S. Singh, and Robert A. Westbrook (2007), "The Impact of Survey Participation on Subsequent Customer Behavior: An Empirical Investigation," Marketing Science, 26 (5), 711-26.


3.      Chandon, Pierre, Vicki G. Morwitz, and Werner J. Reinartz (2004), "The Short- and Long-Term Effects of Measuring Intent to Repurchase," Journal of Consumer Research, 31 (3), 566-72.


4.      — (2005), "Do Intentions Really Predict Behavior? Self-Generated Validity Effects in Survey Research," Journal of Marketing, 69 (2), 1-14.


5.      Chapman, Kenneth J. (2001), "Measuring Intent: There’s Nothing "Mere" About Mere Measurement Effects," Psychology & Marketing, 18 (8), 811-41.


6.      Dholakia, Utpal M. (2009), "A Critical Review of Question-Behavior Effect Research," Working Paper.


7.      Dholakia, Utpal M. and Vicki G. Morwitz (2002), "The Scope and Persistence of Mere-Measurement Effects: Evidence from a Field Study of Customer Satisfaction Measurement," Journal of Consumer Research, 29 (2), 159-67.


8.      Dholakia, Utpal M., Vicki G. Morwitz, and Robert A. Westbrook (2004), "Firm-Sponsored Satisfaction Surveys: Positivity Effects on Customer Purchase Behavior?," MSI Reports, Working Paper Series (4), 95-112.


9.      Dholakia, Utpal M., Siddharth S. Singh, and Robert A. Westbrook (2010), "Understanding the Effects of Post-Service Experience Surveys on Delay and Acceleration of Customer Purchasing Behavior: Evidence from the Automotive Services Industry," Journal of Service Research, forthcoming.


10.  Fitzsimons, Gavan J. and Sarah G. Moore (2008), "Should We Ask Our Children About Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll? Potentially Harmful Effects of Asking Questions About Risky Behaviors," Journal of Consumer Psychology, 18 (2), 82-95.


11.  Fitzsimons, Gavan J. and Vicki G. Morwitz (1996), "The Effect of Measuring Intent on Brand-Level Purchase Behavior," Journal of Consumer Research, 23 (1), 1-11.


12.  Fitzsimons, Gavan J., Joseph C. Nunes, and Patti Williams (2007), "License to Sin: The Liberating Role of Reporting Expectations," Journal of Consumer Research, 34 (1), 22-31.

13.  Fitzsimons, Gavan J. and Patti Williams (2000), "Asking Questions Can Change Choice Behavior: Does It Do So Automatically or Effortfully?," Journal of Experimental Psychology-Applied, 6 (3), 195-206.


14.  Gerber, Alan S. and Donald P. Green (2005a), "Correction to Gerber and Green (2000), Replication of Disputed Findings, and Reply to Imai (2005)," The American Political Science Review, 99 (2), 301-13.


15.  — (2005b), "Do Phone Calls Increase Voter Turnout? An Update," Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 601, 142-54.


16.  Godin, Gaston, Paschal Sheeran, Mark Conner, Gilles Delage, Marc Germain, Ariane Bélanger-Gravel, and Herminé Naccache (2011), "Which Survey Questions Change Behavior? Randomized Controlled Trial of Mere Measurement Interventions," Health Psychology, Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/a0021131.


17.  Godin, Gaston, Paschal Sheeran, Mark Conner, and Marc Germain (2008), "Asking Questions Changes Behavior: Mere Measurement Effects on Frequency of Blood Donation," Health Psychology, 27 (2), 179-84.


18.  Goldstein, Daniel G., Kosuke Imai, Anja S. Göritz, and Peter M. Gollwitzer (2007), "Nudging Turnout: Mere Measurement and Implementation Planning of Intentions to Vote " Working Paper.


19.  Gollwitzer, Peter M. and Gabriele Oettingen (2008), "The Question-Behavior Effect from an Action Control Perspective," Journal of Consumer Psychology, 18 (2), 107-10.


20.  Greenwald, Anthony G., Catherine G. Carnot, Rebecca Beach, and Barbara Young (1987), "Increasing Voting Behavior by Asking People If They Expect to Vote," Journal of Applied Psychology, 72 (2), 315-18.


21.  Greenwald, Anthony G., Mark R. Klinger, Mark E. Vande Kamp, and Katherine L. Kerr (1988), "The Self-Prophecy Effect: Increasing Voter Turnout by Vanity-Assisted Conscious Raising," Working Paper.


22.  Janiszewski, Chris and Elise Chandon (2007), "Transfer-Appropriate Processing Response Fluency, and the Mere Measurement Effect," Journal of Marketing Research, 44 (2), 309-23.


23.  Levav, Jonathan and Gavan J. Fitzsimons (2006), "When Questions Change Behavior," Psychological Science, 17 (3), 207-13.


24.  Morwitz, Vicki G. (2005), "The Effects of Survey Measurement on Respondent Behaviour," Applied Stochastic Models in Business and Industry, 21 (4-5), 451-55.


25.  Morwitz, Vicki G. and Gavan J. Fitzsimons (2004), "The Mere-Measurement Effect: Why Does Measuring Intentions Change Actual Behavior?," Journal of Consumer Psychology, 14 (1&2), 64-74.


26.  Morwitz, Vicki G., Eric Johnson, and David Schmittlein (1993), "Does Measuring Intent Change Behavior?," Journal of Consumer Research, 20 (1), 46-61.


27.  Obermiller, Carl and Eric Spangenberg (2000), "Improving Telephone Fundraising by Use of Self-Prophecy," International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing, 5 (4), 365-72.


28.  Obermiller, Carl, Eric. R. Spangenberg, and April Atwood (1992), "Getting People to Give More: A Telephone Funds-Soliciting Strategy Based on the Self-Erasing Nature of Errors of Prediction," in Marketing Theory and Applications, Vol. 3, ed. Chris T. Allen, T. J. Madden, T. A. Shimp, R. D. Howell, G. M. Zinkham and D. D. Heisley, Chicago, IL: American Marketing Association, 339-45.


29.  Ofir, Chezy and Itamar Simonson (2001), "In Search of Negative Customer Feedback: The Effect of Expecting to Evaluate on Satisfaction Evaluations," Journal of Marketing Research, 38 (May 2001), 170-82.


30.  Sandberg, Tracy and Mark Conner, "Using Self-Generated Validity to Promote Exercise Behavior," British Journal of Social Psychology, Forthcoming.


31.  — (2009), "A Mere Measurement Effect for Anticipated Regret: Impacts on Cervical Screening Attendance," British Journal of Social Psychology, 48 (2), 221-36.


32.  Sherman, Steven J. (1980), "On the Self-Erasing Nature of Errors of Prediction," Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 39 (2), 211-21.


33.  — (2008), "Should We Ask Our Children About Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll? A Different Conclusion," Journal of Consumer Psychology, 18 (2), 96-101.


34.  Smith, Jennifer K., Alan S. Gerber, and Orlich Anton (2003), "Self-Prophecy Effects and Voter Turnout: An Experimental Replication," Political Psychology, 24 (3), 593-604.


35.  Spangenberg, Eric (1997), "Increasing Health Club Attendance through Self-Prophecy," Marketing Letters, 8 (1), 23-31.


36.  Spangenberg, Eric and Carl Obermiller (1996), "To Cheat or Not to Cheat: Reducing Cheating by Requesting Self-Prophecy," Marketing Education Review, 6 (3), 95-103.


37.  Spangenberg, Eric R. and Anthony G. Greenwald (1999), "Social Influence by Requesting Self-Prophecy," Journal of Consumer Psychology, 8 (1), 61-89.


38.  Spangenberg, Eric R., Anthony G. Greenwald, and David E. Sprott (2008), "Will You Read This Article’s Abstract? Theories of the Question-Behavior Effect," Journal of Consumer Psychology, 18 (2), 102-06.


39.  Spangenberg, Eric R. and David E. Sprott (2006), "Self-Monitoring and Susceptibility to the Influence of Self-Prophecy," Journal of Consumer Research, 32 (4), 550-56.


40.  Spangenberg, Eric R., David E. Sprott, Bianca Grohmann, and Ronn J. Smith (2003), "Mass-Communicated Prediction Requests: Practical Application and a Cognitive Dissonance Explanation for Self-Prophecy," Journal of Marketing, 67 (3), 47-62.


41.  Sprott, David E. , Eric R. Spangenberg, and Robert Fisher (2003), "The Importance of Normative Beliefs to the Self-Prophecy Effect," Journal of Applied Psychology, 88 (3), 423-31.


42.  Sprott, David E., Ronn J. Smith, Eric R. Spangenberg, and Timothy S. Freson (2004), "Specificity of Prediction Requests: Evidence for the Differential Effects of Self-Prophecy on Commitment to a Health Assessment," Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 34 (June), 1176-90.


43.  Sprott, David E., Eric R. Spangenberg, Lauren G. Block, Gavan J. Fitzsimons, Vicki G. Morwitz, and Patti Williams (2006), "The Question-Behavior Effect: What We Know and Where We Go from Here," Social Influence, 1 (2), 128-37.


44.  Sprott, David E., Eric R. Spangenberg, and Andrew W. Perkins (1999), "Two More Self-Prophecy Experiments," in Advances in Consumer Research, Vol. 26, ed. Linda Scott and Eric J. Arnould, Provo, UT: Association for Consumer Research, 621-26.


45.  Williams, Patti, Lauren G. Block, and Gavan J. Fitzsimons (2006), "Simply Asking Questions About Health Behaviors Increases Both Healthy and Unhealthy Behaviors," Social Influence, 1 (2), 117-27.


46.  Williams, Patti, Gavan J. Fitzsimons, and Lauren G. Block (2004), "When Consumers Do Not Recognize "Benign" Intention Questions as Persuasion Attempts," Journal of Consumer Research, 31 (3), 540-51.