|The Hebrew University
|Tel Aviv University
|9:00-9:30||Coffee and gathering||Coffee and gathering|
|9:45-10:30||Gui Liberali - Morphing Randomized Controlled Trials (view abstract)||Vardit Landsman - The commercial consequences of collective layoffs: close the plant, lose the brand? (view abstract)|
|10:30-11:15||Margaret Campbell - If at First You Don’t Succeed, Try a Different Strategy: How Regulatory Focus and the Progress Bias Impact Means Switching (view abstract)||Shiri Melumad - The pleasure of liking (and disliking) (view abstract)|
|11:30-12:15||Inyoung Chae - Paywall Suspensions and Digital News Subscriptions (view abstract)||Peter Ebbes - Gremlins in the data: Identifying the information content of research subjects (view abstract)|
|12:30-1:30||Doctoral Students Blitz
Ruti Zwick, Ben Gurion University - Perception of Innovation
Neta Livneh, The Hebrew University - Can Peer Influence Hamper Success? Exploring Numerous Products’ Diffusion Processes in a Social Platform
Liav Alter / Yuval Friedmann, The Hebrew University - Narrowband influencers and Global Icons, Universality and Media Compatibility in the Communication Patterns of Political Leaders Worldwide
Dena Yadin, Bar Ilan University - The Effects of Reviews on Secondhand Consumer Experiences
Dana Turjeman, University of Michigan - Information Avoidance on Information Collection
Natalia Kononov, Tel Aviv University, Looking Good – Doing Good: The Effect of Physical Appearance Improvements on Prosocial Behavior
|1:30-2:30||Lunch + Blitz feedback in round Tables||Lunch|
|2:30-3:15||Elinor Amit - Outsourcing moral judgments (view abstract)||Kathleen Vohs - How happiness is like the experimental advantage (view abstract)|
|3:30-4:15||Gal Zauberman - Taxes and motivation: Lessons from the lab (view abstract)||Manoj Thomas - The malleable morality of conspicuous consumption (view abstract)|
|17:15-…||Social event - Renana's place in Mevasseret Zion|
Efficient experimental designs of trials of pharmaceutical drugs reduce the pressure on health research funding and minimize patient harm because they require smaller samples than randomized controlled trials (RCT). Fewer patients are exposed to untested (and potentially harmful) drugs. Multi-armed bandit solutions (MABs), which learn more rapidly, minimize patient mortality and accelerate the identification of the optimal policy. However, MABs present two challenges: (1) MABs often require each individual outcome to be observed before the next patient is assigned, but major patient outcomes are often observed several months later after the treatment; (2) because MABs allocate less sample to suboptimal assignments, the overall statistical power is lower between inferior treatments. We address the first challenge with fractional observations. Drawing on morphing research in marketing science, we propose fractional observations as an interim outcome. Such outcome is observed well before the trial ends. We address the second challenge by acknowledging that statistical power in a RCT is not ethically neutral. In a MAB, statistical power focuses on the best treatment relative to suboptimal treatments. Furthermore, ethical considerations should include post-experimental as well as within-experimental considerations. We evaluate our proposed method by analyzing large-scale randomized controlled trials of a new treatment for myocardial infarction. The trial included 41,021 patients in 15 countries and 1,081 hospitals. Our method significantly outperforms traditional RCTs by reducing mortality at the required level of statistical power on the optimal treatment. We close with a discussion of implications for marketing science problems that now rely on RCTs.
Margaret C. Campbell
University of Colorado Boulder
Evidence suggests that consumers often have difficulty achieving important goals. We propose that two contributing reasons for this include: 1) inaccuracy in monitoring the impact of behaviors on goal progress; and 2) limits in shifting to a different strategy when the current strategy is not resulting in sufficient goal progress. The current research examines how goal orientation results in biased monitoring and thus reduces shifting to a different strategy when goal progress is insufficient. This research shows that greater promotion compared to prevention focus (“promotion-oriented focus”) influences consumers’ tendency to believe that goal-consistent behaviors have a greater impact on goal progress as compared to goal-inconsistent behaviors (i.e., the “progress bias”). The research further examines how promotion-oriented focus, by affecting the progress bias, impairs goal pursuit. An initial, correlational, study finds that measured promotion-oriented focus leads consumers to have overly positive perceptions of progress for financial behaviors. Two studies then show that promotion-oriented focus, whether measured or manipulated, influences the progress bias; high (low) promotion versus prevention focus exacerbates (decreases) the extent to which a consumer over-weights goal-consistent as compared to goal-inconsistent behaviors in estimates of progress. Lastly, two studies show that by impacting the progress bias, promotion-oriented focus indirectly decreases the extent to which consumers choose an alternative strategy to reach a goal, i.e., “means shift,” when making insufficient progress. Higher promotion-oriented focus and progress bias lead to less means shifting.
In an effort to increase the revenue amid declining print subscriptions, news organizations have shifted their focus to digital content consumption. In addition to digital advertising revenue, digital subscriptions provide news organizations with an additional revenue stream. At the same time, this creates a conflict with the news organizations’ societal obligation to keep the public informed.
In this research, we make use of individual-level clickstream data from a major news organization and temporary paywall suspensions based on events of public interest to investigate how paywall suspensions affect subsequent subscription decisions. While paywall suspensions enable news organizations to inform the public, does this also serve their commercial interests? To address this question, we conduct both aggregate- and individual-level analyses, the latter of which allows us to examine how content consumed during a paywall suspension moderates the effect of the paywall suspension on subscription behavior. Our analyses reveal that, not only does the paywall suspension increase the amount of traffic during the suspension period, but the temporary suspensions also increase the likelihood with which visits become subscribers. Our results suggest that the variety of content consumed during the suspension period is linked to an increased likelihood with which website visitors choose to subscribe. We discuss the implications of these results for news organizations and other digital content platforms.
Coller School of Management, Tel Aviv University
With the rise of firms claiming for corporate social responsibility and conversely, severe losses of companies dealing with product harm crisis (for example, the Volkswagen emissions scandal), there is no doubt that in today's market firms need to ensure that consumers perceive them as ethical. Indeed, a large body of research shows that practices such as cause related marketing, which highlights social responsibility actions taken by the company, are being rewarded by consumers, whereas unethical behavior meets dissatisfaction. This past research showed that consumers rely on internal processes, including thoughtful deliberation, intuition, and emotion, to evaluate the firm's ethic conduct. In this research I argue that another strategy consumers adopt is not to consider the action at all. Instead, without being aware of doing so, consumers outsource the question to experts within communities of knowledge, including the law and political parties. For example, when asked whether it is wrong for doctors to accept money from pharmaceutical companies, consumers judge instead whether it is legal. In a series of experiments, I provide evidence for the moral outsourcing hypothesis and rule out alternative explanations. This research sheds light on surprising and ironic role of the law in shaping consumer’s moral perception, that it diminishes independent, critical thinking, and introduces biases in judgment. While illegal behaviors that are not very harmful can be construed as immoral, legal behaviors will be seen as moral despite having terrible consequences. This research has important implications for consumer behavior in consequential domains such as voting, purchase, online reviews, and protest against companies. For example, consumers are expected to be more inclined to vote in favor on a political candidate when her actions are legal than illegal; write more positive reviews and purchase more products when the CEO’s actions are legal than illegal; and protest less against the company when the company’s actions are legal than illegal.
Taxes are ubiquitous and generally disliked. Previous research not only demonstrates people’s negative tax attitudes, but also suggests that people avoid taxes beyond the financial penalty associated with them (i.e., the monetary cost of the tax). The present research proposes and shows that, although people predict that income taxes will be demotivating, the actual relationship between income taxes, productivity, and satisfaction is not straightforward. Across four incentive-compatible studies (total N=2,506), we show that people’s predictions of how different income tax schedules will influence productivity and satisfaction do not consistently match how people actually respond in an experimental pay-per-performance setting. Further, we demonstrate that people’s productivity is more sensitive to changes in wages than changes in taxes per se, but that participants’ satisfaction is significantly affected by both wages and taxes.
This paper studies the effects of collective layoff announcements on sales and marketing mix elasticities, accounting for supply-side constraints. We study 205 collective layoff announcements in the automotive industry. We find a significantly negative change in sales, advertising elasticity and price elasticity for layoff firms following collective layoff announcements that is moderated by layoff announcement characteristics. Our estimation results suggest that sales for the collective layoff firm in the layoff country are 8.7% lower following a collective layoff announcement than their predicted levels absent the announcement. At the same time, layoff firms typically spend less on advertising following the announcement in the collective layoff country than they would absent the announcement, while they do not change prices. These findings are relevant to marketing managers of firms undergoing collective layoffs and to analysts of collective layoff decisions.
The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
While standard consumer behavior theory mostly conceptualizes evaluation as instrumental to subsequent decisions, consumers surprisingly often evaluate things (e.g., products, brands, people, ads) when no decision is at stake. We argue that this is because the mere process of evaluating one’s likes and dislikes is inherently pleasurable. Consistent with this proposition, results from eight experiments show that relative to comparable judgments, people find the process of evaluating what they like or dislike to be particularly enjoyable. Specifically, our results show that (1) consumers derive more pleasure from evaluating whether they like or dislike target objects than from making a variety of simple, non-preference-based control judgments about the same targets; (2) the phenomenon is driven by two complementary processes: (a) the self-expressive aspects of assessing and externalizing one’s personal preferences, and (b) the self-discovery aspects of evaluating one’s preferences; and (3) the inherent pleasure of assessing one’s likes and dislikes exists not only when the targets of evaluation are generally appealing, but also when they are less appealing: that is, people derive pleasure not just from evaluating what they like but also from evaluating what they dislike. These findings have important marketing implications for the engineering and leveraging of customer value.
Empirical demand functions (based on experimental studies, such as Choice Based Conjoint) are critical to many aspects of marketing, such as targeting and segmentation, setting prices and evaluating the potential of new products. While considerable work has been done on developing approaches for ensuring that research subjects provide honest and thoughtful responses, the reduced cost associated with collecting data in an online setting has driven many studies to be collected under conditions which leave researchers unsure of the value of the information content provided by each subject. Objective measures related to how the subject completes the study, such as latency (how quickly answers are given), can only be tied to other objective measures (such as the fit of the model or consistency of the answer), but ultimately have a questionable relationship to the subject's utility function.
In response to this problem, we introduce a mixture modeling framework which clusters subjects based on variances in a choice based setting. Our proposed model naturally groups subjects based on the internal consistency of their answers, where we argue that a higher level of internal consistence (hence lower variance) reflects more engaged consumers who have sufficient experience with the product category and choice task. Gremlins, on the other hand, occur when a cluster of respondents behaves such that the noise in their responses overwhelms any signal, leading to a lack of predictive power for these respondents. Our approach provides an automated way of determining which respondents are relevant. We discuss the conceptual and modeling framework and illustrate the method using both simulated data and data from several commercial conjoint studies.
University of Minnesota
Previous research has consistently shown an experiential advantage to consumption: People derive more happiness from spending money on experiences versus material goods. Based on the perceptual malleability of the material-experiential distinction, we propose that happy people perceive their purchases as more experiential than their less happy counterparts. Five lab and field studies (n=1319, including a weeklong ecological momentary assessment study of 2213 responses) showed that positive feelings (both dispositional and situational) predict perceiving products and purchases as being experiential. Hence, positive feelings led people to perceive that their consumption was experiential, findings that point to new conclusions about the nature and function of spending to live through experiences.
Conspicuous consumption has often been decried as immoral by many philosophers and scholars, yet it is ubiquitous and widely embraced. We resolve this apparent paradox by proposing that the perceived morality of conspicuous consumption is malleable, contingent upon how different moral lenses highlight the different characteristics embedded in the behavior. Utilizing the Moral Foundations Theory, we demonstrate that the individualizing values (i.e., equality and welfare) make people focus on the self-enhancing characteristics of conspicuous consumption, making it seem morally objectionable. However, the binding values (i.e., deference to authority, in-group loyalty, and purity) make people focus on the social identity signalling characteristic of conspicuous consumption, making it seem morally permissible. Thus, this research suggests that some moral values can, somewhat paradoxically, increase conspicuous consumption.