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A Motivational Account of the Question-Behavior Effect

  • A. VAN KERCKHOVE

    ()

  • M. GEUENS

    ()

  • I. VERMEIR

    ()

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    To explain the question-behavior effect, that is, the effect of answering an intention question on subsequent behavior, this article takes on a motivational perspective and proposes that answering an intention question automatically activates an intention. The activation of this motivational state influences subsequent brand choices due to changes in brand accessibilities. Three studies provide support for the assumption that responding to an intention question affects brand choices through a motivational mechanism, such that (1) answering an intention increases the accessibility of motivation-related information and decreases the accessibility of motivation-competing information which increases the choice for the intention-related brand; (2) intention completion temporarily reverses the foregoing accessibility patterns, instigating a reversal of the brand choices for an immediate, second brand choice; and (3) the changes in brand accessibilities and thus the behavioral effect persist as the delay between the intention question and brand choice occasion increases until intention completion.

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    File URL: http://wps-feb.ugent.be/Papers/wp_11_752.pdf
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    Paper provided by Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration in its series Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium with number 11/752.

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    Length: 2 pages
    Date of creation: Oct 2011
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:rug:rugwps:11/752
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