Research funded by Media & Technology Program

Perceived social presence reduces fact-checking
Youjung Jun, Rachel Meng, Gita Venkataramani Johar
This research tests how perceiving the presence of others (as on social media platforms) affects the way that individuals evaluate information – in particular, the extent to which they verify ambiguous claims. Eight experiments using incentivized real effort tasks found that people are less likely to fact-check statements when they feel that they are evaluating them in the presence of others compared when they are evaluating them alone.

Beyond Bitcoin: The Economics of Digital Currencies (2016)
Hanna Halaburda, Miklos Sarvary
Digital currencies are a fairly new phenomenon brought about by the spectacular rise of the internet. While Bitcoin is the most famous, there are numerous other digital currencies—from Amazon Coin to Zetacoin. Beyond Bitcoin explores the economic forces underlying the design of their features and their potential. Halaburda and Sarvary argue that digital currencies are best understood by considering the economic incentives driving their creators and users. The authors present a framework that will allow systemic analysis of this dynamic environment and support further discussion of the design of digital currencies' features and the competition in the market.

When Enhancing Human Traits Is Dehumanizing, and What to Do About It
Noah Castelo, Nicholas Fitz, Bernd Schmitt, Miklos Sarvary
Consumers who use a brain-enhancing device (tDCS) are perceived as less human than consumers who enhance the same traits using non-technological means, even when the enhanced traits are central to human nature. The researchers explore the marketing implications of this dehumanization effect and show how it can be reversed.

Exploring the Consumer Experience with Artificial Intelligence and Robots
Noah Castelo, Bernd Schmitt
Noah Castelo and Bernd Schmitt investigate how marketers might overcome consumers’ aversion to computer- and algorithm-based decision systems. Preliminary results in “Exploring the Consumer Experience with Artificial Intelligence and Robots” suggest that the degree to which these systems are seen as having human abilities such as autonomy and emotions plays an important role in the consumption experience.