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

Faculty of Nursing, Laval University, Quebec, Canada.
Health Psychology (Impact Factor: 3.59). 04/2008; 27(2):179-84. DOI: 10.1037/0278-6133.27.2.179
Source: PubMed


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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    • "We did not find an effect at follow-up among participants who indicated to probably or definitely intend to use a self-test for diabetes at baseline. This might be a mere measurement effect implying that asking intention questions related to a particular health behaviour could in itself result in changes in level of intention and subsequent behaviour [28]. This measurement effect may have been outweighed by the information provided in the intervention group concerning pros as well as cons related to self-testing and thereby be restricted to the control group. "
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    ABSTRACT: Diagnostic self-tests are becoming increasingly available. Since the pros and cons of self-testing are unclear and neutral information on self-testing is lacking, two decision aids (DAs) on self-testing for cholesterol and diabetes were developed to support consumers in making an informed choice that is in line with their personal values. We aimed to evaluate the effect of the DAs on the intention to self-test for cholesterol or diabetes, as well as socio-cognitive determinants of that intention.
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    • "Thirdly, the control group was also exposed to an intervention, since they were also asked to complete a questionnaire (excluding implementation intentions questions) and since a “question-behavior” (mere-measurement) effect for this type of questionnaire has been reported in the past [44, 45]. However, since both the control group and the experimental group did not show an increase in the notification rate, it is unlikely that this effect occurred in the present study. "
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    ABSTRACT: Aim. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the impact, among nurses in hospital settings, of a questionnaire-based implementation intentions intervention on notification of potential ocular tissue donors to donation stakeholders. Methods. This randomized intervention was clustered at the level of hospital departments with two study arms: questionnaire-based implementation intentions intervention and control. In the intervention group, nurses were asked to plan specific actions if faced with a number of barriers when reporting potential ocular donors. The primary outcome was the potential ocular tissue donors' notification rate before and after the intervention. Analysis was based on a generalized linear model with an identity link and a binomial distribution. Results. We compared outcomes in 26 departments from 5 hospitals, 13 departments per condition. The implementation intentions intervention did not significantly increase the notification rate of ocular tissue donors (intervention: 23.1% versus control: 21.1%; χ (2) = 1.14, 2; P = 0.56). Conclusion. A single and brief implementation intentions intervention among nurses did not modify the notification rate of potential ocular tissue donors to donation stakeholders. Low exposure to the intervention was a major challenge in this study. Further studies should carefully consider a multicomponent intervention to increase exposure to this type of intervention.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014
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    • "The QBE has been successfully observed for a variety of health behaviours including healthy eating (Levav & Fizsimons, 2006; Williams, Fitzsimons, & Block, 2004), health club attendance and exercise (Godin, Bélanger-Gravel, Amireault, Vohl, & Perusse, 2011; Sandberg & Conner, 2011; Spangenberg, 1997; Spangenberg, Sprott, Grohmann, & Smith, 2003; Spence, Burgess, Rodgers, & Murray, 2009; Williams, Block, & Fitzsimons, 2006), blood donation (Cioffi & Garner, 1998; Godin, Germain, Conner, Delage, & Sheeran, in press; Godin, Sheeran, Conner, & Germain, 2008), and uptake of health assessments, screening and vaccinations (Conner, Godin, Norman, & Sheeran, 2011; Sandberg & Conner, 2009; Spangenberg & Sprott, 2006; Sprott, Smith, Spangenberg, & Freson, 2004; Sprott, Spangenberg, & Fisher, 2003), though the QBE has not always proved reliable (Ayres et al., 2013; Godin et al., 2010; van Dongen, Abraham, Ruiter, & Veldhuizen, 2013). A meta-analysis of the impact of the QBE on health behaviour change revealed a small-to-medium effect size of zr = .265 "
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: The question-behaviour effect (QBE) refers to the finding that measuring behavioural intentions increases performance of the relevant behaviour. This effect has been used to change health behaviours. The present research asks why the QBE occurs and evaluates one possible mediator - attitude accessibility. Design: University staff and students (N = 151) were randomly assigned to an intention measurement condition where they reported their intentions to eat healthy foods, or to one of two control conditions. Main outcome measures: Participants completed a response latency measure of attitude accessibility, before healthy eating behaviour was assessed unobtrusively using an objective measure of snacking. Results: Intention measurement participants exhibited more accessible attitudes towards healthy foods, and were more likely to choose a healthy snack, relative to control participants. Furthermore, attitude accessibility mediated the relationship between intention measurement and behaviour. Conclusion: This research demonstrates that increased attitude accessibility may explain the QBE, extending the findings of previous research to the domain of health behaviour.
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