Consumers in the Age of AI: Understanding Reactions Towards Algorithms and Humans in Marketing Research Defended on Thursday, 12 May 2022

Today consumers are increasingly interacting with algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies instead of or in addition to humans. Holding everything else constant, would merely framing a decision (e.g., an application outcome made about a consumer, a personalized recommendation) as made by an algorithm or a human still change the way consumers react? The goal of this dissertation is to examine whether and why consumers react to algorithms and humans differently. Offering a counterpoint on the pervasive algorithms-are-bad rhetoric in contemporary marketing literature, this dissertation adopts a nuanced perspective on consumers’ reactions towards algorithms and humans and introduces three contextual factors that impact consumers’ reactions. Specifically, it reveals how consumers’ reactions towards algorithms and humans depends on what the outcome of the decision is (Chapter 2), who the consumer is (Chapter 3) and on what type of complexity the decision possesses (Chapter 4).


algorithmic decision-making, technology, consumer research, marketing research, marketing, consumer behavior

  • Share on