Maybe attitude doesn’t matter. Maybe how people feel about any given topic or how they think through a decision about whether to act one way or another are irrelevant to research design. Maybe all that really matters is behavior. Maybe behavior is more important than attitudes because users of the research care only about what someone does, not what someone is feeling or thinking in conjunction with the behavior. If true, the implications narrow the focus for research design and suggest, for example, that
- the “success” of social programs, such as those to feed the poor, can simply be measured by meals served, or
- the effectiveness of youth health initiatives can be defined solely by the incidence of risk behavior, or
- consumer preferences can be determined exclusively by their online shopping activities, or
- employee satisfaction can be fully evaluated by the number of missed or “sick” days, or
- an assessment of a person’s belief system can be obtained by just looking at how often they attend a place of worship.
Maybe – with the growing ability to track where people are when and correlate their digital activities with something of interest – behavior-oriented research designs are the wave of the future. Lex Olivier and Mario van Hamersveld think so. They take this position within the context of Read Full Text