Marketing & Supply Chain Management Department Represented at AMA

For release:  March 2, 2015

The Department of Marketing & Supply Chain Management and the Customer NeuroInsights Research Laboratory (C-NRL) was well-represented at the American Marketing Association’s Winter Educators’ Conference, held February 13-15, in San Antonio, Texas. Doctoral candidate, Alexa Fox, along with associate professor of Marketing and director of C-NRL, Dr. George Deitz, chaired a special panel session on the topic of social media privacy. As part of the session, the pair presented their own paper, co-authored with Dr. Marla Stafford, chair of the Department of Marketing, entitled “Private Information in a Social World: An Examination of Presentational Mode in Privacy Policies on Social Networking Sites.”

The study examined subjects’ cognitive, emotional, and behavioral responses to social media networks’ privacy policies. Online privacy policies are typically written so that the firm is covered in case of a legal dispute, not necessarily so that consumers are able to understand them. The purpose of the study was to examine whether consumers’ response to privacy policy information was influenced by the manner in which the policies were presented. Participants in the experiment were presented with the same privacy policy content, but were randomly assigned to experimental conditions that varied in terms of how the information was delivered (text only, text and audio, text and visual, or text, audio, and visual). The researchers measured participants’ attention, emotional activation, and behavior in real time using C-NRL’s innovative, physiological measurement tools, including eye tracking, pupilometry, and automated facial expression analysis software.
Results of the study indicated that the presence of more multimedia cues aided privacy policy comprehension. While this increased understanding resulted in greater fear about participating on the social network, as measured by changes in subjects’ micro-expressions, participants exposed to more informational cues also demonstrated stronger approach behavior, indicating that they may be more inclined to sign up for the social network.  Study findings suggested that presentational mode makes a strong difference in consumers’ emotional response to privacy policies as well as their willingness to engage with social networks, and point to privacy as a fruitful area for future consumer neuroscience studies.

Stop by Fogelman College of Business room 368 to check out C-NRL’s research lab and be sure to follow @CNRL_Memphis on Twitter for the latest neuromarketing updates.