The Robustness of the Effects of Consumers' Participation in Market Research: The Case of Service Quality Evaluations

The Robustness of the Effects of Consumers' Participation in Market Research: The Case of Service Quality Evaluations

By
Chezy Ofir, Itamar Simonson, Song-Oh Yoon
Journal of Marketing. November
2009, Vol. 73, Issue 6, Pages 105-114

The authors propose that participation in market research can determine consumers’ experiences with and evaluations of marketing services/products. Building on and extending a prior finding that expectation to evaluate a service (or product) leads to more negative evaluations, this research investigates the robustness, process, and consequences of asking consumers to form evaluations of services/products. The results of several field studies (conducted in Israel, Korea, and the United States) show that (1) the effect of expecting to evaluate on the service provider’s performance evaluation is enduring and lasts beyond the immediate aftermath of the service encounter; (2) the effect of study participation on the perception of marketers reflects true perceptual change rather than “made-up” perceptions—it requires supporting evidence and is eliminated if cognitive load interferes in the production of that evidence; and (3) the robust bias produced by expecting to evaluate cannot be eliminated by causing participants to consider the task effect on their evaluations or the impact of their feedback on the evaluated marketers. The authors discuss the broader implications of this research for understanding the impact of participation in market research on consumers’ experiences and inputs.