Investigating the Impact of Social Recommendation Systems on Consumer Preference Similarity

Project: Research

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Social recommendation systems generate recommendations based on items purchased or liked by a person’s connections in his or her social network. Despite the prevalence of social recommendation systems, the effects of such recommendation systems on consumer behavior are not yet well-understood. This project intends to examine whether social recommendation systems diversify or homogenize consumer preferences.We posit that the effects of a social recommendation system on consumers’ preferences will differ depending on the structural characteristics of consumers’ social network. We hypothesize that social recommendation systems have a non-linear diversifying effect on consumer preferences. The diversifying effect becomes weaker as the consumer’s degree centrality increases. Ego-network density has a homogenizing effect on consumer preferences. We propose a randomized experiment that will be conducted in the lab to test the hypotheses. We hope to generate a guideline for e- sellers to leverage social recommendation system to achieve their marketing objectives.


Project number7005197
Effective start/end date1/10/18 → …