Freedom of choice, ease of use, and the formation of interface preferences

Kyle B. Murray, Gerald Häubl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

How does users' freedom of choice, or the lack thereof, affect interface preferences? The research reported in this article approaches this question from two theoretical perspectives. The first of these argues that an interface with a dominant market share benefits from the absence of competition because users acquire skills that are specific to that particular interface, which in turn reduces the probability that they will switch to a new competitor interface in the future. By contrast, the second perspective proposes that the advantage that a market leader has in being able to install a set of non-transferable skills in its user base is offset by a psychological force that causes humans to react against perceived constraints on their freedom of choice. We test a research model that incorporates the key predictions of these two theoretical perspectives in an experiment involving consequential interface choices. We find strong support for the second perspective, which builds upon the theory of psychological reactance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)955-976
Number of pages22
JournalMIS Quarterly: Management Information Systems
Volume35
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Consumer choice
  • Ease of use
  • Human capital
  • Interface preferences
  • Psychological reactance
  • Psychological theory
  • Usability
  • User based learning
  • User skills

Cite this

@article{db1427809b4043e9a446a05f9ca55da8,
title = "Freedom of choice, ease of use, and the formation of interface preferences",
abstract = "How does users' freedom of choice, or the lack thereof, affect interface preferences? The research reported in this article approaches this question from two theoretical perspectives. The first of these argues that an interface with a dominant market share benefits from the absence of competition because users acquire skills that are specific to that particular interface, which in turn reduces the probability that they will switch to a new competitor interface in the future. By contrast, the second perspective proposes that the advantage that a market leader has in being able to install a set of non-transferable skills in its user base is offset by a psychological force that causes humans to react against perceived constraints on their freedom of choice. We test a research model that incorporates the key predictions of these two theoretical perspectives in an experiment involving consequential interface choices. We find strong support for the second perspective, which builds upon the theory of psychological reactance.",
keywords = "Consumer choice, Ease of use, Human capital, Interface preferences, Psychological reactance, Psychological theory, Usability, User based learning, User skills",
author = "Murray, {Kyle B.} and Gerald H{\"a}ubl",
year = "2011",
month = "12",
language = "English",
volume = "35",
pages = "955--976",
journal = "MIS Quarterly: Management Information Systems",
issn = "0276-7783",
publisher = "University of Minnesota Press (Project Muse)",
number = "4",

}

Freedom of choice, ease of use, and the formation of interface preferences. / Murray, Kyle B.; Häubl, Gerald.

In: MIS Quarterly: Management Information Systems, Vol. 35, No. 4, 12.2011, p. 955-976.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Freedom of choice, ease of use, and the formation of interface preferences

AU - Murray, Kyle B.

AU - Häubl, Gerald

PY - 2011/12

Y1 - 2011/12

N2 - How does users' freedom of choice, or the lack thereof, affect interface preferences? The research reported in this article approaches this question from two theoretical perspectives. The first of these argues that an interface with a dominant market share benefits from the absence of competition because users acquire skills that are specific to that particular interface, which in turn reduces the probability that they will switch to a new competitor interface in the future. By contrast, the second perspective proposes that the advantage that a market leader has in being able to install a set of non-transferable skills in its user base is offset by a psychological force that causes humans to react against perceived constraints on their freedom of choice. We test a research model that incorporates the key predictions of these two theoretical perspectives in an experiment involving consequential interface choices. We find strong support for the second perspective, which builds upon the theory of psychological reactance.

AB - How does users' freedom of choice, or the lack thereof, affect interface preferences? The research reported in this article approaches this question from two theoretical perspectives. The first of these argues that an interface with a dominant market share benefits from the absence of competition because users acquire skills that are specific to that particular interface, which in turn reduces the probability that they will switch to a new competitor interface in the future. By contrast, the second perspective proposes that the advantage that a market leader has in being able to install a set of non-transferable skills in its user base is offset by a psychological force that causes humans to react against perceived constraints on their freedom of choice. We test a research model that incorporates the key predictions of these two theoretical perspectives in an experiment involving consequential interface choices. We find strong support for the second perspective, which builds upon the theory of psychological reactance.

KW - Consumer choice

KW - Ease of use

KW - Human capital

KW - Interface preferences

KW - Psychological reactance

KW - Psychological theory

KW - Usability

KW - User based learning

KW - User skills

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=81355153684&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Article

VL - 35

SP - 955

EP - 976

JO - MIS Quarterly: Management Information Systems

JF - MIS Quarterly: Management Information Systems

SN - 0276-7783

IS - 4

ER -