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Behavioral Frequency Judgments: An Accessibility-Diagnosticity Framework


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  • Menon, Geeta
  • Raghubir, Priya
  • Schwarz, Norbert
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    Marketing research surveys often elicit behavioral frequency reports. When estimating the number of times a respondent engages in a behavior, s/he may use information about the behavior stored in memory, information provided by the response context, or both. Based on an accessibility-diagnosticity framework, we theorize that the probability of using context-based information in forming a frequency judgment is inversely proportional to the diagnosticity of the alternative inputs accessible in memory. That is, when memory-based information is accessible and diagnostic, contextual information is not used; when memory-based information is accessible but not diagnostic, the use of contextual information depends on its perceived diagnosticity. Finally, when memory-based information is not accessible, contextual information is used even when its diagnosticity is questionable. The results of three experiments support this model. Theoretical implications and recommendations for questionnaire design are discussed. Copyright 1995 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): 22 (1995)
    Issue (Month): 2 (September)
    Pages: 212-28

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    Handle: RePEc:ucp:jconrs:v:22:y:1995:i:2:p:212-28

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    Cited by:
    1. Ivar Krumpal & Heiko Rauhut & Dorothea Böhr & Elias Naumann, 2011. "The framing of risks and the communication of subjective probabilities for victimizations," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 45(6), pages 1331-1348, October.
    2. David Comerford & Liam Delaney & Colm Harmon, 2009. "Experimental Tests of Survey Responses to Expenditure Questions," Working Papers 200925, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
    3. Béatrice Parguel & Florence Benoît-Moreau & Fabrice Larceneux, 2011. "How Sustainability Ratings Might Deter ‘Greenwashing’: A Closer Look at Ethical Corporate Communication," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 102(1), pages 15-28, August.
    4. Craig R. Fox, 2006. "The availability heuristic in the classroom: How soliciting more criticism can boost your course ratings," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 1, pages 86-90, July.
    5. Menon, Geeta & Kyung, Ellie J. & Agrawal, Nidhi, 2009. "Biases in social comparisons: Optimism or pessimism?," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 39-52, January.
    6. Philippe Verduyn & Francis Tuerlinckx & Kirsty Van Gorp, 2013. "Measuring the duration of emotional experience: the influence of actual duration and response format," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 47(5), pages 2557-2567, August.
    7. Toepoel, V. & Vis, C.M. & Das, J.W.M. & Soest, A.H.O. van, 2006. "Design of Web Questionnaires: An Information Processing Perspective for the Effect of Response Categories," Discussion Paper 2006-19, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.


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