Preference Construction and Persistence in Digital Marketplaces: The Role of Electronic Recommendation Agents
Journal of Consumer Psychology, Volume 13, Issues 1-2, 2003, Pages 75-91, Consumers in Cyberspace
55 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2007 Last revised: 25 Jul 2013
Date Written: August 1, 2001
This paper examines the role of electronic recommendation agents in connection with consumers' construction of preference for multi-attribute products. Based on the notion that preferences tend to be constructive, in the sense that they may be affected by characteristics of the task and information environment in which a purchase decision is made, we propose that such digital agents have the potential to influence consumers' preferences in a systematic fashion. The results of an experiment involving an agent-assisted shopping task provide support for this proposition. We also find that this type of preference-construction effect persists beyond the initial shopping experience. Finally, we propose three possible explanations of the inclusion effect and discuss each of these in light of our results.
Keywords: preference construction, recommendation agents, recommender systems, consumer choice, judgment and decision making
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