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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