PhD Defence: Agapi-Thaleia Fytraki

In her dissertation ‘Behavioral Effects in Consumer Evaluations of Recommendation Systems’, Agapi-Thaleia Fytraki investigates how designers and marketers can promote the use of technologies aiding online consumers’ decisions.

Agapi-Thaleia Fytraki defended her dissertation in the Senate Hall at Erasmus University Rotterdam on Friday, September 28 at 13:30. Her supervisors are Prof. Benedict Dellaert and Prof. Ting Li. Other members of the Doctoral Committee are Prof. Gui Liberali (RSM), Dr Martijn Willemsen (TUE), Prof. Eric van Heck (RSM), Dr Els Breugelmans (Leuven University).  

About Agapi-Thaleia Fytraki

Agapi-Thaleia Fytraki was born in 1984 in Athens, Greece. She has studied Computer Information Systems at The American College of Greece, and obtained an MSc in Economics & Informatics from the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) where she specialized on the adoption of technology innovations. In September 2011, Agapi started her Ph.D. under the supervision of professor Benedict Dellaert at the department of Business Economics at Erasmus School of Economics, Erasmus University. In 2014, she spent five months as a visiting scholar at Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia.

Her research interests at the intersection of behavioral economics, decision making and information systems. She is particularly interested in the role of emotions, heuristics and regulatory processes in consumers’ interaction with information technology. Application areas of interest include financial services, healthcare and e-commerce.

Her work has appeared in the proceedings of the International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS). Apart from her research activities, Agapi has been involved in teaching bachelor course and has supervised MSc and BSc theses.

Thesis Abstract

The purpose of this dissertation is to investigate how designers and marketers can promote the use of technologies aiding online consumers’ decisions.  We examine the problem from two different viewpoints that highlight different strategies by which one can influence consumer behavior towards recommendation systems.

Overall, this dissertation contributes to the academic literature in a number of ways. Firstly, it offers a first account of the role of anticipated emotions in technology and RA acceptance.  Focusing on technology itself, RA use and RA output, it also confirms that the presentation of alternatives at the output stage, as well as the decision strategy implemented by the recommendation system itself, can enhance one’s evaluation of an RA. At a minimum, our findings underscore that these elements need to be considered when designing decision support systems. Understanding the mechanisms through which consumers make technology choices is of great importance for marketing managers when they develop new technology products, services and marketing communication campaigns. Finally, the dissertation presents three actionable ways through which managers and designers can increase RA acceptance and evaluation.

Photos: Chris Gorzeman / Capital Images