Special topic on information seeking and decision making
Instructor: Muh-Chyun Tang 
muhchyun.tang@gmail.com  (TEL) 33662967.
Dept. of Library and Information Science,
National Taiwan University

Course description
Rarely do we acquire an information good after we experience it in its entirety. Individuals learn about a work from partial information (e.g. reviews, word-of-month, summaries and abstracts etc.), therefore the inevitable uncertainty in predicting the content and relevance of a work.
The nature of uncertainty experienced by users is likely to change in a digital environment. While perusing of the content of a work is circumscribed in an on line environment, novel decision aids such as user reviews and recommender systems are becoming more prevalent to reduce decision uncertainty and promote serendipitously information encounters.   
The course is designed to explore various aspects of decision making in information consumption. To provide the students necessary analytic tools for user decision making, a survey of relevant literature in cognitive science, social psychology, HCI, and consumer behaviors will be given, with a special focus on their implications on explaining and predicting information users' decision making. 
It is hoped that a better understanding of the process of how users assimilate and combine various information cues in their information environment will provide valuable insights into the design of information services able to reduce search efforts and search uncertainty therefore promote higher user satisfaction.   

Course structure
The class will be organized according to the following modules:
1. Characteristics of information/creative goods
2. The mediating role of "information cue" in judging and selection of information goods
3. Models in decision making (Heuristics, Bayesian inference, Len's model, bounded rationality)
4. Cognitive economy and confirmation bias
5. Users responses to recommender systems and other consumer decision aids 

Course schedule

Topic Note
Introduction Orientation; on representation
Uncertainty and other characteristics of information goods

Caves (2002). Creative industries, Ch. 11, 12
Gilovich, T., & Gallo, I. (2020). Consumers・ pursuit of material and experiential purchases: A review. Consumer Psychology Review, 3(1), 20-33.
Bayard, (2007), How to talk about books you haven't read, Ch1, books you don't know.
3Cultural consumption: super star effect; long tails
(Easley & Kleinberg, 2010) Ch. 18: Power laws and rich gets richer phenomena
Ch 16. Information Cascades
Article review
Salganik et al. (2006). :Experimental study of inequality and unpredictability in an artificial cultural market.;  Science.
Elberse, A. (2008). Should you invest in the long tail? Harvard Business Review, Vol. 86, No. 7/8. (July/August), pp. 88-96.
Savage, M., & Gayo, M. (2011). Unravelling the omnivore: A field analysis of contemporary musical taste in the United Kingdom. Poetics, 39(5), 337-357.
Cultural consumption, cont.
The real relationship between your age and your chance of success
Ross (1999). Finding without seeking: the information encounter in the context of reading for pleasure.
Article review
Fischinger, T., Kaufmann, M., & Schlotz, W. (2020). If it・s Mozart, it must be good? The influence of textual information and age on musical appreciation. Psychology of Music, 48(4), 579-597.
Keller, A., Sommer, L., Klöckner, C. A., & Hanss, D. (2019). Contextualizing information enhances the experience of environmental art. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts.
Intro to decision research; bounded rationality
Iyengar on choice
Dan Gilbert on Expectation

Ch. 8 Individual customer decision making. In Sheth and Mittal (2004), Customer behavior: a managerial perspective
Hastie and Dawes, (2001). Ch 2. What is decision making
Article review
Iyengar, S.S., R.E. Wells, and B. Schwartz (2006).Doing better but feeling worse: Looking for the "Best" Undermines Satisfaction. Psychological Science, 17(2).
Spiggle, S., & Sewall, M. A. (1987). A choice sets model of retail selection. The Journal of Marketing, 97-111.
Len's model,
Dan Ariely's ted talk
Carroll & Johnson, 1990). Ch. 4. weighted-additive models
Article review
Tang, M.-C. (2009). A study of academic library users・ decision making process: a Len・s model approach. Journal of Documentation, 65(6), 938-957.
Lampe, C., Ellison, N. and Steinfield, C. (2007). A  Familiar Face(book): Profile elements as signals in a online social network.  CHI 2007.
Wang, ceiling, D. Soergel (1998). A cognitive model of document use during a research project, JASIS.

Heuristics and biases;
Kahneman on experiencing happiness

Kahneman, D. (2003). A perspective on judgment and choice. American Psychologist, 58, 697-720.
Thaler, R. H. and C. R. Sunstein (2008). Nudge Ch.1.
Gigerenzer, G. (2007), Gut Feelings, Ch. 7.
Article review
Rozin, A., Rozin, P., & Goldberg, E. (2004). The feeling of music past: How listeners remember musical affect. Music perception, 22(1), 15-39.
Sauer, M. (2014). Cue-recognition effects in the assessment of movie trailers.Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 21(3), 376-382.
Constructive view of preference; the effort accuracy framework
Dan Gilbert on Happiness
Article review
West, P. M. C. L. Brown, S. J. Hoch (1996). Consumption vocabulary and preference formation. Journal of Consumer Research, 23.
Alessandri, E., Rose, D., Senn, O., Szamatulski, K., Baldassarre, A., & Williamson, V. J. (2020). Consumers on critique: a survey of classical music listeners・ engagement with professional music reviews. Music & Science.
Herr, P. M., F. R. Kardes, and J. Kim. (1991). Effects of Word-of-Mouth and Product-attribute information on persuasion: an accessibility-diagnosticity perspective. Journal of Consumer Research.(17).
User response to recommender system
If you like this, you're sure to love that  NYTIMES
Konstan, J & Riedl, J. (2012). Recommender system: from algorithms to user experience. User Model User-Adap Interface 22:101-123.
Article review
Tang, M. C., & Jhang, P. S. (2019). Music discovery and revisiting behaviors of individuals with different preference characteristics: An experience sampling approach. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology.
Simonson, I. (2005). Determinants of customers' responses to customized offers: conceptual framework and research propositions. Journal of Marketing, p. pp.32-45.
User response to recommender system

Article review
Tang, M. C., Sie, Y. J., & Ting, P. H. (2014). Evaluating books finding tools on social media: A case study of aNobii. Information processing & management, 50(1), 54-68.
Shen (2011). Preference stability belief as a determinant of response to personalized recommendations -  Journal of Consumer Behavior.
Kwon, K., Cho, J., & Park, Y. (2009). Influences of customer preference development on the effectiveness of recommendation strategies. Electronic Commerce Research and Applications, 8(5), 263V275. 
Confirmation bias
confirmation bias tedtalk
Article review
White, R. W. (2014). Belief dynamics in Web search. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 65(11), 2165-2178.
Liao Q. V., & Fu, W. T. (2014, February). Can you hear me now?: mitigating the echo chamber effect by source position indicators. In Proceedings of the 17th ACM conference on Computer supported cooperative work & social computing (pp. 184-196). ACM.
Schwind, C., Buder, J., Cress, U., & Hesse, F. W. (2012). Preference-inconsistent recommendations: An effective approach for reducing confirmation bias and stimulating divergent thinking?. Computers & Education, 58(2), 787-796.
Confirmation bias Article review
Tang & Wu (pre-print) Reconciling the effects of positive and negative electronic word of mouth: Roles of confirmation bias and involvement.
Schweiger, S., Oeberst, A., & Cress, U. (2014). Confirmation bias in web-based search: a randomized online study on the effects of expert information and social tags on information search and evaluation. Journal of medical Internet research, 16(3). 
Bientzle, M., Cress, U., & Kimmerle, J. (2013). How students deal with inconsistencies in health knowledge. Medical education, 47(7), 683-690.
Park, D. H, Lee J., & Han I. (2007). The effect of on-line consumer reviews on consumer purchasing Intention: the moderateing role of involvement. International Journal of Electronic Commerce, V. 11(4). pp. 125-148.
13 Reviews and decision aids
Article review
Sen, Shahana & D. Lerman (2007). Why Are You Telling Me This? an Examination into Negative Consumer Reviews on the Web. Journal of Interactive Marketing, 21(4). 
Chakravarty, A., Liu, Y., & Mazumdar, T. (2010). The differential effects of online word-of-mouth and critics' reviews on pre-release movie evaluation. Journal of Interactive Marketing, 24(3), 185-197.
Gershoff, A. D., Mukherjee, A., & Mukhopadhyay, A. (2003). Consumer Acceptance of Online Agent Advice: Extremity and Positivity Effects. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 13(1/2), 161.
Reviews and decision aids
Article review
Ahluwalia, R., Burnkrant, R. E., & Unnava, H. R. (2000). Consumer response to negative publicity: The moderating role of commitment. Journal of marketing research, 37(2), 203-214.
Hennig-Thurau, T., Wiertz, C., & Feldhaus, F. (2015). Does Twitter matter? The impact of microblogging word of mouth on consumers・ adoption of new movies. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 43(3), 375-394.
Qiu, L., Pang, J., & Lim, K. H. (2012). Effects of conflicting aggregated rating on eWOM review credibility and diagnosticity: The moderating role of review valence. Decision Support Systems, 54(1), 631-643.
Chang, H. H., & Wu, L. H. (2014). An examination of negative e-WOM adoption: Brand commitment as a moderator. Decision Support Systems, 59, 206-218.
Wu, P. F. (2013). In search of negativity bias: An empirical study of perceived helpfulness of online reviews. Psychology & Marketing, 30(11), 971-984.
Reviews and decision aids
Article review
Mudambi, S. M., & Schuff, D. (2010). What makes a helpful review? A study of customer reviews on Amazon. com. MIS quarterly, 34(1), 185-200.
Liu, Y. (2006). Word of mouth for movies: Its dynamics and impact on box office revenue. Journal of marketing, 74-89.
Wang, C., Zhang, X., & Hann, I. H. (2018). Socially nudged: A quasi-experimental study of friends・ social influence in online product ratings. Information Systems Research, 29(3), 641-655.
Short presentation of the "exemplar article" for your final paper
Discussion of your final project

Final presentation
Final project due

Assignments and Grading
1. Empirical research review (40%)
Each student will present 3-5  empirical studies (See the class schedule for the date for presentation). 
This assignment is designed to help familiarize yourself with the actual user study procedures. The review should consist of the following basic elements of an empirical research:
a. Research questions
b. Theoretical framework
c. Hypotheses
d. Methodology
e. Design
f. Findings
g. Critiques: strengths and potential flaws (e.g. threats to external or internal validity)
For this assignment, you can opt to either work indepentantly or in group. If working in group, the number of the articles each group reports will be the sum of the group members.
No written report for this assignment. Prepare a 15~20 minutes power point presentation and a 5~10 minutes Q&A session. The power point file is to be posted on the class website, along with the link to the fulltext of the article reviewed, one day before the date on which your presentation is scheduled. All should have the full-text (electronic or paper) of the article reviewed on hand at the time of its presentation

2. Term paper (40%)
Each student will write a research proposal that informed by theories or  empricial studies introduced in the class, which is due at the end of the semester.
As the forcus of the paper will be the methodology, a lengthy literature review is not requried. It will be a user study that consists of the following components: 
a. Identify and present an "examplar paper" you wish to base your study on
b. Theoretical framework and problem statement (1-2 pages)
c. Study objectives (1-2 pages)
d. Research Questions (1-2 pages)
e. Research procedures (methodology, design, instruments) (4-8 pages)
f. Expected difficulties (1-2) pages 
g. Presentation of the project to the class

In preparation of the term paper, each should present an "examplar paper" two weeks before the final presentation is due. The examplar paper is a work you believe can set as an example about what you plan to study in your research proposal.

Participation (20%)
You will be evaluated on your attendance and participation in class discussion.  Each student is required to raise questions and give comments on other students' presentations.

Ariely, D., & Jones, S. (2008). Predictably irrational. New York, NY: Harper Audio.
Beach, L. R. and T. Connolly (2005), The Psychology of Decision Making. Sage.

Bettman, James R., Mary Frances Luce, and John W. Payne (1998), "Constructive Consumer Choice Processes," Journal of Consumer Research, 25 (December), 187-217. 
Caves, R. E. (2002). Creative Industries. Harvard University Press.
Gigerenzer, G./Todd, P.M./ABC Group, eds. 1999. Simple Heuristics that Make Us Smart. New York: Oxford University Press.
Centola, D. (2010). The spread of behavior in an online social network experiment. science, 329(5996), 1194-1197.
Easley, D and J. Kleinberg (2006). Networks, Crowds, and Markets: Reasoning About a Highly Connected World. Cambridge University Press, 2010. Goldman, A. I. (1999). Knowledge in a Social World. Oxford.
Franke, N., Keinz, P., & Steger, C. J. (2009). Testing the value of customization: When do customers really prefer products tailored to their preferences? Journal of Marketing, 73(5), 103V121.
Gigerenzer, G. (2007). Gut feelings: the intelligence of the unconscious. Penguin.
Guadagno, R.E., R. B. Cialdinin (2003). Online persuasion and compliance: social influence on the Internet  and beyond. In Amichai-Hamburger (Ed.). The Social Net: the social psychology of the Internet.
Holbrook, M. B., & Addis, M. (2008). Art versus commerce in the movie industry: a Two-Path Model of Motion-Picture Success. Journal of Cultural Economics, 32(2), 87-107
Kahneman, D. (2003). A perspective on judgment and choice. American Psychologist, 58, 697-720.
Devetag, M. G. (1999). From utilities to mental models: a critical survey on decision rules and cognition in consumer choice. Technical Report 2, CEEL (Computable and Experimental Economics Laboratory).
Kahneman, D. & Tversky, A. (Eds.) (2000). Choices, Values, and Frames. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Kahneman, D. (2011). Thinking, fast and slow. Allen Lane.
Hastie, Dawes (2001). Rational choice in an uncertain world: the psychology of judgment and decision making. Sage. 
Hardman, D. (2009). Judgment and Decision Making. Wiley-Blackwell. l
Haubl, G., Trifts, Valerie. (2000). Consumer Decision Making in Online Shopping Environments: The Effects of Interactive Decision Aids. Marketing Science, 19(1), 4.
Koehler, D. and N. Harvey (2004). Judgment and decision making. Blackwell Publishing.
Sheth, J. N. and Mittal, B. (2004). Customer Behavior: a managerial perspective. Thomson.
Newell, B. R., D. A. Lagnodo, and D. R. Shanks (2007). Straight Choices: the psychology of decision making. Psychology Press.
Bayard, P. (2007). How to talk about books you haven't read. Bloomsbury.
Payne, J. W. J. R. Bettman, E. J Johnson (1993). The adaptive decision maker. Cambridge University Press.
Lopes, A. B, D. Galletta (2006). Consumer perceptions and willingness to pay for intrinsically motivated online content. Journal of Management Information System, V. 23, N. 2, pp. 203-231.
Mittal, B. (2004). Lack of Attribute Searchability: Some thoughts. Psychology and Marketing, 21(5), 443.
Pirolli, P. (2007). Information foraging theory: Adaptive interaction with information. Oxford series in human-technology interaction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Rothman and Salovey (1997). Shaping perceptions to motivate healthy behavior: the role of message framing. Psychological Bulletin, 121, 1, p.3-19. af    
Roehrich, G. (2004). Consumer innovativeness: concepts and measurements.Journal of Business Research, 57(6), 671-677.
Sandstrom, P. E. (1994). An Optimal Foraging  Approach to Information-seeking and use. Library Quarterly, 64(4), 414-449.  Shapiro, C., & Varian, H. R. (1999). Information rules: a strategic guide to the network economy Boston, Mass. :: Harvard Business School Press.
Tang, M.-C. (2009). A study of academic library users・ decision making process: a Len・s model approach. Journal of Documentation, 65(6), 938-957.
Thaler, R. H. Sunstein (2008). Nudge: improving decisions about health, wealth and happiness.  
Wyer, R.S. (2008). "The Role of Knowledge Accessibility in Cognition and Behavior: Implications For Consumer Information Processing," In C. Haugtvedt, F. Kardes, & P. Herr. (Eds.), Handbook of Consumer Psychology. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum, 2008, 31-76.
Carroll, J. S. and Johnson, E. J. (1990). Decision Research: a field guide. Sage.
Hogarth. R. (1987). Judgement and Choice. Wiley.
Hughes et al. (2010).Doctors・ Online Information Needs, Cognitive Search Strategies, and Judgments of Information Quality and Cognitive Authority. JASI&T
Clement. M., D. Proppe, A. Rott (2007). Do Critics Make Bestsellers? Opinon Leaders and the success of Books. Journal of Media Economics 20(2). pp.77-105.
Basuroy, S. Chatterjee, S. and S. A. Ravid (2003). How Critical are Critical Reviews? The Box Office Effects of  Film Critics, Star Power, and Budgets. Journal of Marketing, v67, PP. 103-117.
Woudstra, L., B. V. D. Hooff, A. P. Schouten (2012). Dimensions of quality and accessibility:selection of human information sources from a social capital perspective. Information Processing and Managment. 48,pp. 618-630.