The question-behavior effect suggests that asking people questions about their behavior influences future behavior. We investigated the moderating roles of self-affirmation (Studies 1–3) and goal difficulty (Study 3). Participants completed questionnaires that included one/no-prediction question about fruit and vegetable consumption. Some participants completed a self-affirmation task as part of their questionnaire and all participants received a voucher for free fruit or vegetables. Use of the voucher was the outcome measure in all three studies. Prediction questions involving a difficult/easy to achieve goal resulted in a decrease/increase in voucher use, respectively, while adding a self-affirmation task attenuated question-behavior effects. We conclude that framing behaviors as “easy to achieve” increases the effectiveness of question-behavior effect interventions and that self-affirmation is effective in avoiding unwanted question-behavior effects.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology