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Caution in the Use of Difference Scores in Consumer Research


  • Peter, J Paul
  • Churchill, Gilbert A, Jr
  • Brown, Tom J


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter, J Paul & Churchill, Gilbert A, Jr & Brown, Tom J, 1993. "Caution in the Use of Difference Scores in Consumer Research," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(4), pages 655-662, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jconrs:v:19:y:1993:i:4:p:655-62
    DOI: 10.1086/209329

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