When Electronic Recommendation Agents Backfire: Negative Effects on Choice Satisfaction, Attitudes, and Purchase Intentions

Joseph Lajos, INSEAD, France
Amitava Chattopadhyay, INSEAD, Singapore
Kishore Sengupta, INSEAD, France
Many websites provide electronic recommendation agents that ask users questions about individual factors and their preferences for product attributes, and then rate and rank order the available products. Previous research has hailed these agents as rescuing consumers from choice overload. However, we report the results of an experiment in which use of an electronic recommendation agent negatively impacted participants’ choice satisfaction, attitudes, and purchase intentions over a period of between one and two weeks. The data support our hypothesis that use of an electronic recommendation agent leads consumers to overweight utilitarian product attributes and underweight hedonic product attributes in choice.
[ to cite ]:
Joseph Lajos, Amitava Chattopadhyay, and Kishore Sengupta (2009) ,"When Electronic Recommendation Agents Backfire: Negative Effects on Choice Satisfaction, Attitudes, and Purchase Intentions", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 845-846.