No Strings Attached: When Giving It Away versus Making Them Pay Reduces Consumer Information Disclosure

42 Pages Posted: 24 Jan 2012 Last revised: 24 Dec 2013

See all articles by Tiffany Barnett White

Tiffany Barnett White

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Thomas Novak

George Washington University School of Business

Donna L. Hoffman

George Washington University School of Business

Date Written: January 23, 2012

Abstract

We examine egocentric biases in mental accounting that occur when consumers face the prospect of disclosing information in exchange for online marketing incentives. We find that consumers keep balanced “mental accounts” of the costs and benefits of such exchanges when they are contingent or temporally integrated. However, when non-contingent exchanges are temporally separated so that benefits precede costs, or when bias correction is impeded in the same non-contingent transaction, consumers keep separate mental accounts in which they egocentrically devalue the marketers’ incentives, making them less likely to reciprocate by disclosing. We explore consequences of these findings for online relationships between consumers and marketers.

Keywords: online marketing incentives, egocentric bias, contingent exchange

Suggested Citation

White, Tiffany Barnett and Novak, Thomas and Hoffman, Donna L., No Strings Attached: When Giving It Away versus Making Them Pay Reduces Consumer Information Disclosure (January 23, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1990608 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1990608

Tiffany Barnett White

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign ( email )

601 E John St
Champaign, IL 61820
United States

Thomas Novak

George Washington University School of Business ( email )

2121 I Street NW
Washington, DC 20052
United States
9515431592 (Phone)

Donna L. Hoffman (Contact Author)

George Washington University School of Business ( email )

2201
G St NW
Washington, DC 20052
United States
9515431260 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://postsocial.gwu.edu

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
69
Abstract Views
716
rank
327,972
PlumX Metrics