Making Judgments (05-06-22)

Beeler and colleagues set out to learn more about how opinions are formed.  They focused on judgments of digital assistant technologies, but what they learned can no doubt be extrapolated to other contexts.  The investigators determined that “ability assessments are dependent upon both the use context (i.e., automation versus augmentation; disclosure of automation) and individual characteristics (i.e., consumer mood state and consumer preference for human interaction). . . . some consumers simply prefer people over technology, regardless of the technological capabilities of the digital assistant. Managers should consider offering a variety of potential customer interactions, as opposed to forcing customers to use digital assistants, as frustration can ensue from a failed technological interaction when no other alternatives (e.g., human interactions) are available. . . . companies should consider contexts in which negative moods may be likely. For example, a consumer employing the use of a digital assistant to play music in a high stress situation, such as rush hour traffic or when feeding a baby, may lead to more negative perceptions of the digital assistant’s ability.”

Lisa Beeler, Alex Zablah, and Adam Rapp.  2022. “Ability Is In the Eye of the Beholder:  How Context and Individual Factors Shape Consumer Perceptions of Digital Assistant Ability.”  Journal of Business Research, vol. 148, pp. 33-46,