Examining the Question-Behavior Effect Using the Implicit Association Test

Andrew Perkins, Rice University, USA
David Sprott, Washington State University, USA
Eric Spangenberg, Washington State University, USA
David Knuff, Ronn Smith, Oregon State Uinversity, USA, University of Arkansas, USA
The current research describes two experiments comparing dissonance reduction and self-concept activation as explanations for the question-behavior effect. Using the Implicit Association Test, we found in Experiment 1 that people making a self-prediction regarding a normative behavior (i.e., recycling) reveal increased levels of self-esteem and self-identity associated with the behavior (compared to a control group), but did not indicate increased positive attitudes toward recycling. Experiment 2 builds upon these results by manipulating self-esteem prior to making a self-prediction. Consistent with a self-concept activation hypothesis, participants showed increases in self-esteem and self-identity with recycling (the predicted behavior), but no increase in their positive attitude toward recycling.
[ to cite ]:
Andrew Perkins, David Sprott, Eric Spangenberg, and David Knuff, Ronn Smith (2007) ,"Examining the Question-Behavior Effect Using the Implicit Association Test", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34, eds. Gavan Fitzsimons and Vicki Morwitz, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 539-545.