Alexander Davidson to be published in Journal of Consumer Psychology

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Mike Ilitch School of Business Assistant Professor of Marketing Alexander Davidson has had an article accepted for publication in the Journal of Consumer Psychology, which publishes articles that contribute both theoretically and empirically to understanding the psychology of consumer behavior.

The article, “How Consumer Experience is Shaped by the Political Orientation of Service Providers,” explores expectations and realities when it comes to experiences with liberal vs. conservative service providers.

The article was co-authored by Derek A. Theriault from Concordia University.

Abstract

This research documents the counterintuitive effect that consumers actually have better service experiences with politically conservative service providers, but expect to have better experiences with politically liberal service providers. First, we document the effect in actual consumer service experience across three different contexts (Airbnb hosts, Uber drivers, waiters), and demonstrate that conservative (vs. liberal) providers enhance consumer experience (studies 1, 2a, 2b), because conservative providers are higher on traitā€conscientiousness (study 3). Second, in an experiment (study 4), we document expectations about service experience and demonstrate that consumers expect to receive better service from liberals (vs. conservatives). We explain that this effect emerges because consumers do not perceive that conservatives (vs. liberals) are more conscientious, but do perceive that they are less open. Overall, our theoretical framework outlines how conservative providers possess an unknown strength (higher conscientiousness) and a known weakness (lower openness), which leads to different actual and expected consumer service experiences. These novel findings provide valuable contributions to our understanding of how consumers are impacted by the political orientation of marketplace providers.

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