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Caution in the Use of Difference Scores in Consumer Research


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  • Peter, J Paul
  • Churchill, Gilbert A, Jr
  • Brown, Tom J
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    This article illustrates the common use of difference scores in consumer research and discusses a number of potential problems with using them. Difference scores often have problems in the areas of reliability, discus validity, spurious correlations, and variance restriction. The article concludes that difference scores should generally not be used in consumer research and offers alternatives that overcome their limitations. Copyright 1993 by the University of Chicago.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Consumer Research.

    Volume (Year): 19 (1993)
    Issue (Month): 4 (March)
    Pages: 655-62

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    Handle: RePEc:ucp:jconrs:v:19:y:1993:i:4:p:655-62

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    Cited by:
    1. Joseph Balloun & Gary Klein, 1997. "A difference which makes a difference," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 31(3), pages 317-324, August.
    2. Ed Diener & Louis Tay, 2014. "Review of the Day Reconstruction Method (DRM)," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 116(1), pages 255-267, March.
    3. Volker Seiler, 2013. "Comment on Ameriks, Caplin, Leahy & Tyler (2007): Measuring Self-Control Problems," Working Papers CIE 61, University of Paderborn, CIE Center for International Economics.
    4. D. Vandaele & P. Gemmel, 2004. "Development of a measurement scale for business-to-business service quality: assessment in the facility services sector," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 04/259, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    5. Gleitsmann, Sinje & Guttzeit, Mandy & Roschk, Holger, 2010. "Die kundenseitige Wahrnehmung der Servicequalität bei der Nutzung von SST," Ilmenauer Schriften zur Betriebswirtschaftslehre, Technische Universität Ilmenau, Institut für Betriebswirtschaftslehre, volume 3, number 32010.
    6. Sparks, John R. & Areni, Charles S., 2002. "The effects of sales presentation quality and initial perceptions on persuasion: a multiple role perspective," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 55(6), pages 517-528, June.
    7. Homburg, Christian & Rudolph, Bettina, 2001. "Customer satisfaction in industrial markets: dimensional and multiple role issues," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 15-33, April.
    8. Boerkamp, Ellis J. C. & Reuijl, Jan C. & Haaijer-Ruskamp, Flora M., 1997. "The pharmacist as a drug information supplier in hospitals: A view from services marketing," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 207-218, November.
    9. World Bank, 2012. "Quality Perception in Utility Provision : A Conceptual and Empirical Approach," World Bank Other Operational Studies 13007, The World Bank.
    10. Andreas Kakouris & Elina Meliou, 2011. "New Public Management: Promote the Public Sector Modernization Through Service Quality. Current Experiences and Future Challenges," Public Organization Review, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 351-369, December.
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    12. Brown, Susan A. & Venkatesh, Viswanath & Kuruzovich, Jason & Massey, Anne P., 2008. "Expectation confirmation: An examination of three competing models," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 52-66, January.
    13. Brady, Michael K. & Cronin, J. Jr. & Brand, Richard R., 2002. "Performance-only measurement of service quality: a replication and extension," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 17-31, January.
    14. Louis Tay & David Chan & Ed Diener, 2014. "The Metrics of Societal Happiness," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 117(2), pages 577-600, June.
    15. Yoon, Mahn Hee & Suh, Jaebeom, 2003. "Organizational citizenship behaviors and service quality as external effectiveness of contact employees," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 56(8), pages 597-611, August.
    16. Johnson, Michael D. & Nader, Georg & Fornell, Claes, 1996. "Expectations, perceived performance, and customer satisfaction for a complex service: The case of bank loans," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 163-182, April.
    17. Yoshida, Masayuki & James, Jeffrey D., 2011. "Service quality at sporting events: Is aesthetic quality a missing dimension?," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 13-24, February.
    18. Rosanna Giannoccaro & Nicola Costantino & A. Ludovico & Roberto Pietroforte, 2008. "Measuring Citizen Satisfaction with Aspects of Public Services from a Local Authority and Determining Their Importance: A Case Study," Public Organization Review, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 1-15, March.


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