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The Economic Research Institute, Stockholm School of Economics SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Business Administration

No 2001:12:
Determinants of Behavior : Do Direct Measures of Attitude Unravel It All?

Elisabeth Engelberg

Abstract: Research suggests that direct measurement of attitude is not necessarily adequate to establish determinants of behavior. Cognitive and affective aspects of behavior presumably differ in accessibility when using direct measurement as typically the case with verbal self-reports. Data was collected from 132 undergraduate students for a comparison between a direct and an indirect measure in order to explore to what extent cognitive and affective components would emerge as a causal mode for coupon usage. The direct measure consisted of a global assessment of coupon usage. The indirect measure consisted of an assessment of feelings experienced in response to the idea of coupon redemption. Related attitudes and behavioral items pertaining to consumption were also measured. Results revealed that fifty-six percent of the variance in usage frequence was explained, and that the indirect measure made the second major contribution. The present study thus further the understanding of how indirect measurement may be better suited for grasping the effect of affective determinants of behavior.

Keywords: measurement of attitude; behavior; affect; coupon usage; (follow links to similar papers)

12 pages, November 30, 2001, Revised December 12, 2001

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