Wolves in sheep's clothing: How and when hypothetical questions influence behavior

Journal Article (Journal Article)

How and when does responding to hypothetical questions shape future judgment and behavior? We identify knowledge accessibility as an implicit process through which hypothetical questions influence individuals, and examine moderators of accessibility that determine when these effects obtain. In an initial study, we show that hypothetical questions increase the accessibility of the specific positive or negative knowledge referenced by the question. In five subsequent studies, we manipulate factors known to enhance (consistency, elaboration) and attenuate (awareness, delay) accessibility, and show that these factors moderate the influence of hypothetical questions on individuals' voting choices, legal decision-making, and consumption behavior. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Moore, SG; Neal, DT; Fitzsimons, GJ; Shiv, B

Published Date

  • January 1, 2012

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 117 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 168 - 178

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0749-5978

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.obhdp.2011.08.003

Citation Source

  • Scopus