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Title: Explaining the discrepancy between intentions and actions: the case of hypothetical bias in contingent valuation
Author: Ajzen, Icek; Brown, Thomas C.; Carvajal, Franklin
Source: Personality and social psychology bulletin. 30(9): 1108-1120
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
Description: An experiment was designed to account for intention-behavior discrepancies by applying the theory of planned behavior to contingent valuation. College students (N = 160) voted in hypothetical and real payment referenda to contribute $8 to a scholarship fund. Overestimates of willingness to pay in the hypothetical referendum could not be attributed to moderately favorable latent dispositions. Instead, this hypothetical bias was explained by activation of more favorable beliefs and attitudes in the context of a hypothetical rather than a real referendum. A corrective entreaty was found to eliminate this bias by bringing beliefs, attitudes, and intentions in line with those in the real payment situation. As a result, the theory of planned behavior produced more accurate prediction of real payment when participants were exposed to the corrective entreaty.
Keywords: attitude, contingent valuation, hypothetical bias, intention, theory of planned behavior
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Ajzen, Icek; Brown, Thomas C.; Carvajal, Franklin 2004. Explaining the discrepancy between intentions and actions: the case of hypothetical bias in contingent valuation. Personality and social psychology bulletin. 30(9): 1108-1120
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