Digital Dark Nudge: An Exploration of When Digital Nudges Unethically Depart

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2022-01-04
Authors
Costello, Francis Joseph
Yun, Jinho
Lee, Kun Chang
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Digital nudging in information systems has become widely prevalent to guide consumers during online decision-making. However, while nudging is about improving the decisions and behaviors in various domains, limited research has explored when digital nudges unethically depart from their intended purpose, whereby opt-in favors profit motives over the user’s best interests. In e-commerce, we defined this as a digital dark nudge (DDN) and explored its use in multiple scenarios against a typical shopping experience. Using an online experiment, we study the economic intentions and emotional perceptions of DDNs, while also accounting for impulsiveness as a moderating personality trait. This study first attempts to use priming and status quo bias as a theoretical lens, and empirical results show increasing evidence of the perverse effects of using DDNs in online e-commerce whereby consumers revert to their status quo, less likelihood of purchase. Our results provide further warning to practitioners about their use of ethical practices such as digital nudging.
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Behavioral Economics in the Digital Economy: Digital Nudging and Interface Design, confirmshaming, dark nudge, digital nudge, emotional impusiveness
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10 pages
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Proceedings of the 55th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
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