Professor of Marketing
2005 MSI/H. Paul Root Award (Honourable Mention)
Studies of the relationship between purchase intentions and purchasing have ignored the possibility that the very measurement of those intentions may inflate the association between intentions and behavior, a phenomenon called self-generated validity.In this research, the authors develop a latent model of the reactive effects of measurement that can be applied to intentions, attitude, or satisfaction data and show that it can be estimated with a simple two-stage procedure.In the first stage, the authors use data from surveyed consumers to predict latent purchase intentions for both surveyed and non-surveyed consumers. In the second stage, they compare the strength of the association between these pre-survey latent intentions and post-survey behavior across both groups.The authors find large and reliable self-generated validity effects across three diverse large-scale field studies. On average, the correlation between latent intentions and purchasing is 58% greater among surveyed consumers than among similar non-surveyed consumers. One study also shows that the reactive effect of measuring purchase intentions (i.e., the mere measurement effect) is entirely mediated by self-generated validity - and not by social norms, intention modification, or other measurement effects that are independent of prior latent intentions.