Preference construction and persistence in digital marketplaces: The role of electronic recommendation agents

Gerald Häubl, Kyle B. Murray

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

175 Citations (Scopus)


This article examines the role of electronic recommendation agents in connection with consumers' construction of multiattribute preferences. We propose that such digital agents have the potential to influence consumers' preferences in a systematic fashion. Our key hypothesis is that, everything else being equal, the inclusion of an attribute in a recommendation agent renders this attribute more prominent in consumers' purchase decisions. The results of a controlled agent-assisted shopping experiment provide strong support for this hypothesis. We also demonstrate that this preference-construction effect may persist beyond the initial shopping experience and into subsequent choice settings in which no recommendation agent is available. Finally, we propose three possible explanations of the effect and discuss each of these in light of our results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-91
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Consumer Psychology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2003

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