Georgia Tech – Scheller College of Business
800 West Peachtree Street NW
Atlanta, GA 30308
Email: Zoey [dot] Chen [at] scheller.gatech.edu
Ph.D. in Business Administration, 2014 (expected)
Concentration in Marketing
Scheller College of Business, Georgia Institute of Technology
Bachelor of Science, 2009 (cum laude)
Leonard N. Stern School of Business, New York University
Majors: Marketing and Finance
Chen, Zoey and Nicholas Lurie (forthcoming), “Temporal Contiguity and the Negativity Bias in the Impact of Online Word-of-Mouth,” Journal of Marketing Research. (Essay 3 of dissertation)
Chen, Zoey and Jonah Berger (forthcoming), “When, Why and How Controversy Causes Conversation,” Journal of Consumer Research. (Essay 1 of dissertation)
- Featured in Montreal Gazette and Vancouver Sun
- Consumer decision making
- Causes and consequences of Word-of-Mouth communication
- Effects of possessions on consumer behavior
Co-Chairs: Nicholas Lurie (UConn) and Samuel Bond
Committee Members: Jonah Berger (Wharton), Sandra Slaughter, Sara Dommer
Proposal Defended May 2013
Thinking about Others: Social Consideration in the Creation and Impact of Online Word of Mouth
Online word of mouth (WOM) is one of the most influential information sources, affecting product sales and firm performance. A defining characteristic of online WOM is that it occurs between people rather than between a firm and a target consumer. As a result, social concerns are likely to be embedded in the word of mouth process. Research for the most part, however, has tended to ignore this fundamental aspect of online WOM. My dissertation shows that social concerns systematically affect what is talked about, what is remembered, and how word-of-mouth influences consumer behavior.
1. When, Why, and How Controversy Causes Conversation
(forthcoming, Journal of Consumer Research)
How does controversy affect conversation? Five studies using both field and laboratory data address this question. Contrary to popular belief, controversial things are not necessarily more likely to be discussed. Controversy increases likelihood of discussion at low levels, but beyond a moderate level of controversy, additional controversy actually decreases likelihood of discussion. The controversy-conversation relationship is driven by two countervailing processes. Controversy increases interest (which increases likelihood of discussion) but simultaneously increases discomfort (which decreases likelihood of discussion). Contextual factors such as anonymity and whether people are talking to friends or strangers moderate the controversy-conversation relationship by impacting these component processes. Our framework sheds light on how, when, and why controversy affects whether or not things are discussed.
2. Transmitting Well-Reasoned Word of Mouth Impairs Memory for Product Experiences
(3 studies complete; planning 4th study)
Speakers often aim to be well-reasoned in their arguments. Likewise, many websites encourage consumers to write well thought out and logical reviews. We propose that such attempts will ironically make consumers more susceptible to false memories (i.e., believing that something occurred when it did not). This is because attempts to provide a fuller, more complete, and reasoned argument will likely impair memory of an event, thereby making it more difficult to distinguish whether aspects of that event occurred or not. In a series of lab studies, we find that instructing reviewers to be well-reasoned in their arguments (vs. relying on their imagination) causes them to make more false recognition errors for recounted product experiences.
3. Temporal Contiguity and Negativity Bias in the Impact of Online Word-of-Mouth
(forthcoming, Journal of Marketing Research)
Prior research shows that positive online reviews are less valued than negative reviews. The authors argue that this is due to differences in causal attributions for positive versus negative information such that positive reviews tend to be relatively more attributed to the reviewer (vs. product experience) than negative reviews. The presence of temporal contiguity cues, which indicate that review-writing closely follows consumption, reduces the relative extent to which positive reviews are attributed to the reviewer and mitigates the negativity bias. An examination of 65,531 Yelp restaurant reviews shows that review value is negatively related to review valence but that this negative relationship is absent for reviews containing temporal contiguity cues. A series of lab studies replicates these findings and suggests that temporal contiguity cues enhance the value of a positive review, and increase the likelihood of choosing a product with a positive review, by changing reader beliefs about the cause of the review.
Selected Research in Progress
- “Low Batteries Make You Greedy: The Effect of Product States on Human Behavior,” with Nicholas Lurie, manuscript in preparation for the Journal of Consumer Research.
- “Transmitting Well-Reasoned Word of Mouth Creates False Memory of Product Experience,” with Ann Schlosser, 3 studies complete; planning 4th study. (Essay 2 of dissertation)
- “Sharing with Friends and Strangers: How Impression Management Goals Impact What We Share,” with Nicholas Lurie, 2 studies complete; planning 3rd study.
- “How Discovery vs. Reception Affects WOM Transmission,” with Jonah Berger, data collection in progress.
Refereed Conference Presentations
- Chen, Zoey, and Jonah Berger (2013) “When, Why, and How Controversy Causes Conversation,” Society for Consumer Psychology, San Antonio, Texas (February).
- Chen, Zoey, and Nicholas Lurie (2012) “Low Batteries Make You Greedy: The Effect of Product States on Human Behavior,” Association for Consumer Research, Vancouver, Canada (October).
- Chen Zoey, and Jonah Berger (2012) “When, Why, and How Controversy Causes Conversation,” Association for Consumer Research, Vancouver, Canada (October).
- Chen, Zoey, and Nicholas Lurie (2012) “Temporal Contiguity and the Negativity Bias in Online Word-of-Mouth,” poster presented at Behavioral Decision Research in Management Conference, Boulder, Colorado (June).
- Chen, Zoey, and Nicholas Lurie (2012) “Low Batteries Make You Greedy,” poster presented at Behavioral Decision Research in Management Conference, Boulder, Colorado (June).
- Chen, Zoey and Nicholas Lurie (2011) “Upbeat and Helpful: Temporal Contiguity and the Negativity Bias,” Association for Consumer Research, St. Louis, Missouri (October).
- Chen, Zoey and Nicholas Lurie (2011) “Delay-based Discount of WOM Communication,” Society for Consumer Psychology, Atlanta, Georgia (February).
- Lurie, Nicholas, Sam Ransbotham, Zoey Chen, and Stephen He (2010), “Marketing on the Map,” poster presented at Behavior Decision Research in Management Conference, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (June).
- Recipient of Ashford Watson Stalnaker Memorial Prize for Ph.D. Student Excellence, Georgia Tech – Scheller College of Business (2013)
- AMA Sheth Doctoral Consortium Fellow, University of Washington (2012)
- President’s Fellowship, Georgia Institute of Technology, 2009 – present
- Stern Scholar, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, 2005 – 2009
- Denis O’Leary Scholar, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, 2005 – 2009
- Teaching Interests: Marketing Research, Consumer Behavior, Social Media, Digital Marketing
- Instructor Experience: Marketing Research (Spring 2013)
- Journal of Consumer Research (Trainee Reviewer)
- Journal of Marketing Research
- Association for Consumer Research Annual conference
- Society for Consumer Psychology Annual conference
- Association for Consumer Research (ACR)
- Society for Consumer Psychology (SCP)
- Society for Judgment and Decision Making (SJDM)