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As a researcher, it's important to use validated scales to ensure reliability and improve interpretation of research results. The Marketing Scales database provides an easy, unified source to find and reference scales, including information on reliability and validity.
Krista Holt
Senior Director, Research & Design, Vital Findings

Measuring Consumers’ Data-Privacy Attitudes

One of the biggest dilemmas that is challenging the teaching and practice of marketing has to do with customer data.  On the one hand, we have taught for several decades that data are needed about customers in order to properly serve and satisfy them.  For example, if a company is serious about being customer-oriented then data are needed to determine what products and features are desired by a certain market.  Maybe there are marketers who somehow "know" what those customers want without gathering data about them but, marketing professors are not able to teach students how to make decisions based on intuition or gut feelings.  We teach research-based processes that, if followed, should provide the information needed for marketers and others to make the necessary decisions about the marketing mix (product, price, place, and promotion).  While consumers want satisfying products, the irony is that they are increasingly uncomfortable about their preferences, intentions, and behavior being monitored and collected.  It is no wonder then that marketing scholars have been studying concerns about personal data usage for many years, particularly since the commercialization of the internet. Dozens of multi-item measures have been created for use in surveys and experiments to help understand the important privacy-related attitudes and emotions that determine consumer behavior.  Four new scales that have been used in this type of research are featured here now and address the following data-related questions:

  • How well do people understand what companies do with customer data?
  • Do customers trust companies that have their personal information?
  • How vulnerable do customers feel about the personal information that companies have collected about them?
  • Do consumers think it is okay to give misleading personal information to companies in order to protect their privacy?

Reviews and descriptions of these four scales are included in the newest publication of the Marketing Scales Handbook series (Volume 10).  Additionally, these new  measures join the thousands of other scales in the database here at this site.  To have easy access to all scales in the database, use a Day Pass