Compare and Contrast the Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods

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Pierre Chandon, Vicki G. Morwitz, & Werner J. Reinartz

Do Intentions Really Predict Behavior? Self-Generated Validity Effects in Survey Research
Studies of the relationship between purchase intentions and purchase behavior have ignored the possibility that the very act of measurement 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 is applicable to intentions, attitude, or satisfaction data, and they show that this model can be estimated with a two-stage procedure. In the first stage, the authors use data from surveyed consumers to predict the presurvey latent purchase intentions of
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In practice, the studies adjust the intention scores by analyzing the actual purchase behavior of consumers whose purchase intentions have been measured previously. For example, the popular ACNielsen BASES model forecasts aggregate purchase rates by applying conversion rates to measured purchase intentions (e.g., it assumes that 75% of consumers who checked the top purchase-intentions box will actually purchase the product). To obtain these conversion rates, BASES uses previous studies that measured the purchase intentions of consumers and then tracked their actual purchases. However, a limitation of these studies is that they focus on the internal rather than the external accuracy of purchase-intention measures. That is, the studies measure the improvement in the ability to forecast the behavior of consumers whose intentions they previously measured, not the behavior of consumers whose intentions they did not measure. Therefore, the studies assume that they can extrapolate the intention–behavior relationship of nonsurveyed consumers on the basis of the relationship that surveyed consumers exhibit. In doing so, the studies ignore the Intentions and Predicting Behavior / 1

Journal of Marketing Vol. 69 (April 2005), 1–14

potentially important problem that the measurement of intentions itself might self-generate some of the association between the intentions and the behavior of a particular consumer (Feldman and Lynch 1988). Finding that part of the predictive power
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