Social Crowding versus Spatial Crowding: Differential Influences on Customers’ Preference for Anthropomorphized Self-Service Technologies


讲座时间:2019年12月10日  13:00 - 14:15


讲座嘉宾:Lili Wenli Zou(The Chinese University of Hongkong)


While anecdotal and research evidences seem to suggest that anthropomorphism can positively influence consumer preference, this research shows that customer response towards anthropomorphized SSTs in the crowding situation depends on their attribution of the crowdedness. Data from five experiments including one field experiment with customers’ actual transaction data demonstrate that customers in a crowded environment prefer non-anthropomorphized rather than anthropomorphized SSTs when they attribute the crowding to social reasons (i.e., too many people) as opposed to spatial reasons (i.e., space inadequacy) due to their social withdrawal tendency. Contrary to prevailing beliefs on the benefits of SSTs, this research shows that customers in a crowded environment do not always prefer SSTs over human staffs and anthropomorphizing SSTs can backfire.


Lili Wenli Zou is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at the School of Management and Economics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen. She received her Ph.D. degree in Marketing from Faculty of Business and Economics, The University of Hong Kong. Her research interests mainly focus on consumer-based strategies such as customer crowding management and IoT such as AI trust.