Asking Questions Changes Behavior: Mere Measurement Effects on Frequency of Blood Donation

Faculty of Nursing, Laval University, Quebec, Canada.
Health Psychology (Impact Factor: 3.95). 04/2008; 27(2):179-84. DOI: 10.1037/0278-6133.27.2.179
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This research examined the impact of completing a questionnaire about blood donation on subsequent donation behavior among a large sample of experienced blood donors.
Participants (N=4672) were randomly assigned to an experimental condition that received a postal questionnaire measuring cognitions about donation or a control condition that did not receive a questionnaire.
Number of registrations at blood drives and number of successful blood donations were assessed using objective records both 6 months and 12 months later.
Findings indicated that, compared to control participants, the mean frequency of number of registrations at blood drives among participants in the experimental group was 8.6% greater at 6 months (p<.0.007), and was 6.4% greater at 12 months (p<.035). Significant effects were also observed for successful blood donations at 6 months (p<.001) and 12 months (p<.004).
These findings provide the first evidence that the mere measurement is relevant to promoting consequential health behaviors. Implications of the research for intervention evaluation are discussed.

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Available from: Gaston Godin, Aug 12, 2015
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    • "However , overweight and obese individuals performed higher levels of SA after completing EMA surveys where they reported a sedentary behavior as their main activity. It is possible that the mere act of asking overweight and obese participants to self-report their current level of activity may compel them to persist at that behavior as has been suggested in previous work (Godin et al., 2008). "
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: Mobile phones are ubiquitous and easy to use, and thus have the capacity to collect real-time data from large numbers of people. Research tested the feasibility and validity of an Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) self-report protocol using electronic surveys on mobile phones to assess adults' physical activity and sedentary behaviors. Methods: Adults (N = 110; 73% female, 30% Hispanic, 62% overweight/obese) completed a 4-day signal-contingent EMA protocol (Saturday-Tuesday) with eight surveys randomly spaced throughout each day. EMA items assessed current activity (e.g., Watching TV/Movies, Reading/Computer, Physical Activity/Exercise). EMA responses were time-matched to minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and sedentary activity (SA) measured by accelerometer immediately before and after each EMA prompt. Results: Unanswered EMA prompts had greater MVPA (±15 min) than answered EMA prompts (p = 0.029) for under/normal weight participants, indicating that activity level might influence the likelihood of responding. The 15-min. intervals before versus after the EMA-reported physical activity (n = 296 occasions) did not differ in MVPA (p > 0.05), suggesting that prompting did not disrupt physical activity. SA decreased after EMA-reported sedentary behavior (n = 904 occasions; p < 0.05) for overweight and obese participants. As compared with other activities, EMA-reported physical activity and sedentary behavior had significantly greater MVPA and SA, respectively, in the ±15 min of the EMA prompt (ps < 0.001), providing evidence for criterion validity. Conclusion: Findings generally support the acceptability and validity of a 4-day signal-contingent EMA protocol using mobile phones to measure physical activity and sedentary behavior in adults. However, some MVPA may be missed among underweight and normal weight individuals.
    Frontiers in Psychology 07/2012; 3:260. DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00260 · 2.80 Impact Factor
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    • "These were assessed in the order: intentions, anticipated regret, attitudes. We selected to measure intention, attitudes, and anticipated regret in relation to the QBE manipulation because a number of studies of this phenomenon in the health domain had also focused on these constructs (e.g., Godin et al., 2008, 2010; Sandberg & Conner, 2009, 2011). All items were assessed on 7-point scales and averaged such that higher scores indicated more positive reactions. "
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose. Measuring intentions and other cognitions to perform a behaviour can promote performance of that behaviour (the question-behaviour effect, QBE). It has been suggested that this effect may be amplified for individuals motivated to perform the behaviour. The present research tested the efficacy of combining a motivational intervention (providing personal risk information) with measuring intentions and other cognitions in a fully crossed 2 × 2 design with an objective measure of behaviour in an at-risk population using a randomized controlled trial (RCT). Methods. Participants with elevated serum cholesterol levels were randomized to one of four conditions: a combined group receiving both a motivational intervention (personalized cardiovascular disease risk information) and a QBE manipulation (completing a questionnaire about diet), one group receiving a motivational intervention, one group receiving a QBE intervention, or one group receiving neither. All participants subsequently had the opportunity to obtain a personalized health plan linked to reducing personal risk for coronary heart disease. Results. Neither the motivational nor the QBE manipulations alone significantly increased rates of obtaining the health plan. However, the interaction between conditions was significant. Decomposition of the interaction indicated that the combined condition (motivational plus QBE manipulation) produced significantly higher rates of obtaining the health plan (96.2%) compared to the other three groups combined (80.3%). Conclusions. The findings provide insights into the mechanism underlying the QBE and suggest the importance of motivation to perform the behaviour in observing the effect.
    British Journal of Health Psychology 04/2012; 18(1). DOI:10.1111/j.2044-8287.2012.02075.x · 2.70 Impact Factor
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    • "This effect of measuring cognitions has also been reported in the domain of health for a variety of behaviours such as blood donation (Godin et al., 2010; Godin, Sheeran, Conner, & Germain, 2008), having a cervical screening (Sandberg & Conner, 2009), attending a health check appointment (Conner, Godin, Norman, & Sheeran, 2011), influenza vaccination among healthcare workers (Conner et al., 2011) and exercising (Godin, Beíanger-Gravel, Amireault, Vohl, & Pe´russe, 2011; Williams, Block, & Fitzsimons, 2006). For instance, in their study on blood donation, Godin et al. (2008) observed a significant higher frequency in the attempts to give blood at six-and 12-month follow-up among blood donors who were asked to complete a questionnaire based on an extended version of the theory of planned behaviour (TPB) (Ajzen, 1991) compared to a control group with no questionnaire. This pattern of results was replicated by Sandberg and Conner (2009) concerning cervical screening and Conner et al. (2011) regarding health check appointment and influenza vaccination. "
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    ABSTRACT: This study investigated the question-behaviour effect of measuring intention in the interrogative or declarative form combined or not with a measure of moral norm. A sample of 762 participants was randomised according to a 2 × 2 factorial design. Cognitions were assessed at the baseline, and physical activity behaviour was self-reported three weeks later. At baseline, there were no significant differences on the studied variables. An ANOVA showed a significant interaction effect between the two experimental conditions (p = 0.04). Post-hoc contrast analyses showed that the interrogative intention-only condition significantly differed from the declarative intention-only (d = 0.21, p = 0.03) and interrogative intention + moral norm (d = 0.22, p = 0.03) conditions. Results suggest that self-posed questions about a future action increases the likelihood of doing it when these questions are not accompanied by measures of moral norm. This provides support for using introspective self-talk to favour the adoption of behaviour.
    Psychology & Health 04/2012; 27(9):1086-99. DOI:10.1080/08870446.2012.671617 · 1.95 Impact Factor
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