Smaraki Mohanty presents at the Psychology of Technology Conference at the Wharton School – Today at Elon

Mohanty, assistant professor of marketing and international business, recently presented her work in human-computer interaction at the Psychology of Technology Conference at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Smaraki Mohanty, assistant professor of marketing

Assistant Professor of Marketing Smaraki Mohanty presented her research on the impact of human-machine interaction in the field of marketing and consumer behavior at the sixth Annual Psychology of Technology Conference on “The Psychology of New Media & Technology.”

The conference was held in November 2022 at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. The conference was by invitation only and co-sponsored by the Wharton Human-Centered Technology Initiative, with support from the USC Neely Center for Ethical Leadership and the Wharton AI for Business Initiative.

Mohanty, and Iman Paul from Montclair State University in New Jersey, co-presented their co-authored paper at the conference. The paper was based on smart devices, such as Amazon Alexa, Smart TV and Google Home, which are becoming increasingly essential to the daily lives of consumers. Building on the recent research that has documented how the unique and humanlike features of smart devices (e.g., ability to interact in natural language, autonomy, learning capabilities) lead users to perceive them as social actors with agentic capabilities, the paper examined how users apply social norms and criteria while interacting with their devices and how doing so impacts subsequent consumption decisions. Across three different projects that were presented, Mohanty and Paul examine both the promises and pitfalls of using these devices for consumption decisions making.

Their findings suggest shopping using a voice-enabled smart device alters not only the “service interface” but also the “social environment” in which retailing occurs with potentially profound effects on subjective shopping. Further, the findings contribute not only to the burgeoning work on voice assistants but also contribute to the shared consumption literature where they identify interactions with voice assistants as a novel factor that nudges people to prefer shared experiences. Their research is first to empirically document a dark side of consumer interaction with smart devices and that the increased convenience brought by these smart devices may come with an important caveat — the perception that we are no longer solely responsible for our decisions.

They plan to expand this research by collecting more evidence from the real-world and publishing their work in the top journals of marketing and psychology.

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