Amir Grinstein’s paper accepted for publication in JMR

A paper of Amir Grinstein has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Marketing Research. The paper is co-authored with Ann Kronrod and titled “Spare the Rod and Spoil the Child? How Praising, Scolding, and Assertiveness can Encourage Desired Behaviors”.

09/14/2015 | 2:28 PM

The authors examine effective communication ways to encourage consumers to follow desired behaviors such as healthy eating or recycling. They observe that in order to promote desired behaviors marketers sometimes praise (e.g., You are doing great) and sometimes scold (e.g., You are not doing enough). However, the effectiveness of each approach in triggering behavior is not clear. A possible reason is that it is not only what you say that matters, but also how you say it: Praising and scolding can be performed with more/less assertive tone. The research introduces assertiveness as a moderator that can explain when praising or scolding would be more effective. It includes two field experiments and a lab experiment in the context of hand hygiene, financial planning and environmental behavior that demonstrate that when marketers praise consumers, an assertive tone may be more effective in encouraging behavior, whereas scolding requires a non-assertive tone.