Gai, Phyliss J. and Anne-Kathrin Klesse (forthcoming), “Making Recommendations More Effective through Framings: Impacts of User- versus Item-based Framings on Recommendation Click-throughs," Journal of Marketing. [Job Market Paper]
Abstract. Companies frequently offer product recommendations to customers, based on various algorithms. This research explores how companies should frame the methods they use to derive their recommendations, in an attempt to maximize click-through rates. Two common framings—user-based and item-based—might describe the same recommendation. User-based framing emphasizes the similarity between customers (e.g., “People who like this also like…”); item-based framing instead emphasizes similarities between products (e.g., “Similar to this item”). Six experiments, including two field experiments within a mobile app, show that framing the same recommendation as user-based (versus item-based) can increase recommendation click-through rates. The findings suggest that user-based framing (versus item-based framing) informs customers that the recommendation is based on not just product matching but also taste matching with other customers. Three theoretically derived and practically relevant boundary conditions related to the recommendation recipient, the products, and other users offer practical guidance for managers, regarding how to leverage recommendation frames to increase recommendation click-throughs.
* Paper link will be added soon. Preprint is available upon request.
* My presentation for RSM alumni working in the industry (from 42min)
Gai, Phyliss J. and Stefano Puntoni, “Lies of Bilingual Consumers: Foreign Language Reduces Intuitive Preferences for (Dis)honesty”, revising for resubmission at Journal of Consumer Research.
Abstract. How does language affect consumer dishonesty? This paper focuses on the effect of using a second language versus a native language. Nine studies (eight experimental and one meta-analytical) challenge findings of recent psychological research that indicate second language use leads to lower rates of lying. Second language use does not lead uniformly to more honesty but rather attenuates people’s intuitive preferences for lying or telling the truth. Furthermore, stronger intuitive tendencies for (dis)honesty magnify the language effect, and increased feelings of uncertainty in second language contexts contribute to the effect of language on consumer dishonesty. This paper documents the effects of language in both consequential and imagined situations. The studies span different languages (Chinese, English, French, and Korean) and consumer contexts (insurance, flight delay, advertising, and lotteries). Overall, language plays a significant role in shaping consumer dishonesty, and these insights have important implications for theory, practice, and public policy.
Gai, Phyliss J., Mirjam Tuk, and Steven Sweldens, “When Virtues are Lesser Vices: The Impact of Advance Ordering and Restrained Eating on Choice and Consumption", under review at Journal of Consumer Psychology.
Abstract. Self-control within the food domain is typically studied by examining choices between unhealthy and healthy food, the ‘vice-virtue trade-off’. However, consumers frequently substitute a vice (e.g., potato chips) with a lesser vice (e.g., light chips). Yet, much less is known about the antecedents of choice and consumption in this domain. We identify two important differences between vice–virtue and vice–lesser vice choice contexts. First, we argue that vice–lesser vice choices are much less characterized by differences in short-term gratification versus long-term health outcomes. Second, we argue that differences in caloric density are uniquely salient in a vice–lesser vice choice context. We test the downstream consequences of this distinction in two experiments, and find that 1) diverting attention away from immediate gratification by advance ordering does not encourage consumers to substitute a vice with a lesser vice; 2) individual differences in concerns about calorie intake do encourage substitution in choice, but do not lead to more control over consumption once the choice has been made.
Gai, Phyliss J. and Amit Bhattacharjee, “Saints or Sinners? How Self-control Affects Evaluation of Moral Character” in preparation for submission to Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.
Abstract. Self-control refers to the ability to choose a long-term beneficial option over an immediate tempting yet long-term costly one. It often concerns no one else other than the decision-maker and should be morally irrelevant. However, the present research shows that self-control in entirely personal domains shapes the evaluation of moral character (studies 1 and study 2). Crucially, this effect is unique to self-control and cannot be attributed to the halo effect (study 2) or the value of choices (study 3). In addition, this effect is driven by the moral advantage of self-control success instead of the disadvantage of self-control failure (studies 4a and 4b). The positivity bias suggests that self-control outcomes are not subject to moral judgment but serve as proxies for moral inferences. While self-control success is likely a characteristic of morally good persons, self-control failure seems a problem that everyone has. This moral advantage of self-control success is replicated in a different culture (studies 5 and 6).