Faculty of Economics and Business Administration Publications Database

When Artificial Feedback Hurts - Empirical Evidence from Community-Based Configurations Systems

Hildebrand, Christian
Herrmann, Andreas
Link External Source: Online Version
Year: 2011

Mass Customization technologies are increasingly becoming social and allow for inter-individual exchange processes such as community-based configuration systems online. But while companies foster community interactions and open their configuration systems, it is not clear (1.) how virtual interactions influence individuals' subjective product satisfaction, since their final decision may not be based on their own exclusive preferences, and (2.) how these usually anonymous feedback processes may directly affect individuals' perception of their own selves. We applied an experimental research design in a virtual community environment and provide evidence that anonymous feedback significantly influences consumers’ decision behavior and that increased deviations from an initial decision negatively affects individual product satisfaction. Moreover, we revealed new theoretical and practical insight that feedback effects can directly and negatively influence individuals' perception of self-worth and that common affirmation strategies may backfire and finally result in considerably lower self-esteem and satisfaction.