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The importance of non-linear relationships between attitude and behaviour in policy research


  • Jenny Doorn


  • Peter Verhoef
  • Tammo Bijmolt


The relation between consumers’ attitude and behaviour is of importance in designing marketing and public policy measures. However, many empirical studies find only low effects of attitudes on behaviour. In this paper, we suggest that the conflicting evidence on the attitude-behaviour link is partly due to only extreme attitudes impacting behaviour. That is, possible non-linearities not detected by standard linear models could occur in the relationship between attitudes and behaviour. We present and compare alternative model specifications to assess the non-linear relationship. We test our view using empirical examples relating to the link between environmental concerns and the purchase of organic products, and the link between privacy concerns and the possession of loyalty cards. We find strong support for the appearance of a non-linear relationship between environmental concern and the purchase of organic products, while only weak support for such a relationship between privacy concern and the possession of loyalty cards. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Suggested Citation

  • Jenny Doorn & Peter Verhoef & Tammo Bijmolt, 2007. "The importance of non-linear relationships between attitude and behaviour in policy research," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 75-90, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jcopol:v:30:y:2007:i:2:p:75-90
    DOI: 10.1007/s10603-007-9028-3

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Agarwal, James & Malhotra, Naresh K., 2005. "An integrated model of attitude and affect: Theoretical foundation and an empirical investigation," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 58(4), pages 483-493, April.
    2. Sandra Streukens & Ko de Ruyter, 2004. "Reconsidering Nonlinearity and Asymmetry in Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty Models: An Empirical Study in Three Retail Service Settings," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 15(2_3), pages 99-111, July.
    3. O'Malley, Lisa & Prothero, Andrea, 2004. "Beyond the frills of relationship marketing," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 57(11), pages 1286-1294, November.
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    1. repec:eee:jouret:v:91:y:2015:i:3:p:436-450 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:eee:jouret:v:85:y:2009:i:3:p:391-405 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:eee:joinma:v:24:y:2010:i:2:p:121-137 is not listed on IDEAS


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