“Will you exercise this year?” That simple question can be a game-changing technique for people who want to influence their own or others’ behavior.
The research is the first comprehensive look at more than 100 studies examining the ‘question-behavior effect,’ a phenomenon in which asking people about performing a certain behavior influences whether they do it in the future.
The effect has been shown to last more than six months after questioning.
Writing in the Journal of Consumer Psychology, marketing researchers from the University of California, Irvine, the University at Albany, State University of New York, the University of Idaho and Washington State University examined why the effect occurs.
Their findings offer guidance to social marketers, policy makers and others seeking to impact human behavior.
Why questions can influence behavior
“If you question a person about performing a future behavior, the likelihood of that behavior happening will change,” said Dave Sprott, a co-author and senior associate dean of the Carson College of Business, Washington State University.
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