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This paper aims to demonstrate that self-persuasion can be used as a marketing technique to increase consumers’ generosity and that the efficacy of this approach is dependent on consumers’ involvement with target behavior.An experimental field-study was conducted to investigate the effects of self-persuasion versus direct persuasion attempts versus no persuasion attempts on consumers’ tipping behavior in a lunchroom.According to Mussweiler and Neumann (2000), people have the tendency to correct for information that is provided by an external source, whereas they fail to correct for the influence of self-generated information.
Thus, based on this research, it could be argued that for changing addictive behaviors, self-persuasion may be superior to communicating injunctive norms.
It is unknown, however, whether this is also the case for behaviors that are less subject to injunctive norms (e.g.
The persuasion technique that makes use of this bias in favor of self-generated information is referred to as self-persuasion (Aronson, 2007).
For example, Müller (2009) demonstrated that self-persuasion is a more effective technique for inhibiting smoking behavior, compared to external persuasion attempts.
Several studies have demonstrated that merely presenting participants with questions (rather than statements) about why smoking is bad led to a higher smoking-related risk perception (Glock , 2016).
In relation to other health-related behaviors, formulating questions instead of statements has been shown to lead to an increase in negative outcome expectancy perception (Krischler and Glock, 2015), lower alcohol consumption rates (Loman , 2006; for negative side-effects, however, see, Fitzsimons and Moore, 2008).This is moderated by consumers’ involvement with the target behavior.For consumers with high involvement, self-persuasion is more effective than direct persuasion, while no differences were found for consumers with moderate or low involvement.Indirect persuasion enhances the likelihood that a persuasion attempt will succeed (Brehm, 1966; Lunardo and Roux, 2015).Recently, another indirect persuasion technique has shown promising results in the domain of health psychology and addictive behaviors: self-persuasion.In the same vein, most of the research that examined the influence of self-persuasion on behavior, mainly explored this by looking at addictive behaviors (Glock , 2009, 2016), and it has been suggested that the effectiveness of self-persuasion lies, among other things, in the fact that direct persuasion triggers defensive responses that help to justify the behavior (Liberman and Chaiken, 1992).In other words, people with addictive behaviors such as smoking in particular, may be immune to persuasion by direct arguments, because smokers may have developed defensive reactions as a response to repeated governmental campaigns that communicate injunctive norms.The scope of self-persuasion is not limited to the inhibition of undesired behavior, but it also extends to the facilitation of desired behavior, which considerably broadens the scope of this technique.Self-persuasion might be used as a marketing technique to influence consumers’ purchase behavior. This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 3.0) licence.For example, since 2003, warning labels have been shown on cigarette packs, and alcohol commercials in The Netherlands are required to state that responsible alcohol consumption is advised.This distinction is important as, for instance, Glock and Kneer (2009) found that smokers, compared to non-smokers, were realistic about their higher chance of contracting a smoking-related illness (e.g. However, this awareness did not lead to higher relevance of the persuasive messages as might be assumed (Johnson and Eagly, 1989); rather, it seemed to result in some kind of immunization toward anti-smoking messages.