Adelle X. Yang and Christopher K. Hsee, "Obligatory Publicity Increases Charitable Acts” (Conditionally accepted at Journal of Consumer Research)

Abstract: Charity campaigns strive to encourage conspicuous giving by employing self-promotion devices, such as donor pins, logoed apparel, and social media hashtags, to garner both contributions to and awareness of their charitable causes. However, encouraging the use of self-promotion devices may not be effective at facilitating either goal because people often feel conflicted about self-promoting their charity involvement, fearing that observers will infer image motives instead of genuine concern for the charitable cause. This research examines a counterintuitive charity recruitment strategy that effectively resolves these concerns and leverages donors’ image motives for the greater good. Six studies (N = 10,600), including a large-scale field study, demonstrate that campaign participation increases when a charity campaign makes the donors’ self-promotion of their charity involvement mandatory instead of voluntary. Examination of the underlying psychological mechanism reveals that mandating self-promotion legitimizes conspicuous giving and changes the anticipated attribution of conspicuous giving, thus assuaging concerns about unfavorable attributional inferences. Boundary conditions are tested and policy implications are discussed.

Adelle X. Yang and Jasper Teow, "AI Aversion: Defending the Human Gaze for the Identifiable Recipient" (Under review)

Abstract: Artificial Intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing human decision making, yet its adoption has generated numerous debates especially in policy decisions that distribute scarce resources among people. Eight pre-registered experiments (N = 3,138 participants) find that an observer’s AI aversion in these decision systems is intensified when an identifiable decision recipient is spotlighted among many statistical recipients, showcasing a remarkable malleability of this sentiment, both between-subjects and within-subjects. This effect is robust to the valence of observers’ emotions evoked by the recipient (Study 3), variations in the representativeness of the identifiable recipient (Study 4), and participants’ familiarity with the human-versus-AI decision (Study 5); yet critically, it is attenuated when participants imagine themselves as one of the recipients (Study 6). Moreover, the effect is mediated in all studies by the observers’ stronger emotions evoked by the identifiable (vs. statistical) decision recipients, which subsequently heighten their moral intuition against AI—that human recipients ought to receive human attention, instead of being processed like statistics by AI. These experiments also rule out previously identified causes of AI aversion as alternative explanations, and rule out participant inattention or miscomprehension as alternative explanations for the intrapersonal attitudes changes toward AI. In sum, AI aversion in part reflects a moral intuition to defend the “human gaze” when human recipients are assessed in the decision process, and the strength of this moral intuition is contingent on the intensity of situation-dependent emotions.  

Adelle X. Yang, Minjung Koo, and Jaewon Hwang, “Remember Me”: Misprediction and Misuse of Mnemonic Devices in Gift Choices" (Preparing for 3rd round review)

Abstract: People often employ salient physical objects to aid memory retention and prompt memory retrieval. While the intrapersonal use of external mnemonic devices is widely documented, little research has shed light on their interpersonal use. Across six experiments, we find that gift-givers intuitively pick external mnemonic devices as gifts and overpredict the extent to which mnemonic gifts will facilitate bonding, yet receivers do not welcome these gifts as much as the givers expect. This giver-receiver preference discrepancy is no longer observed when gifts will be associated with negative emotions in memory, nor when relationship bonding is not the primary motive of gift-giving. These findings suggest that interpersonal memory management strategies via mnemonic devices may give rise to pervasive preference matching failures and inefficient resource allocation. This research uncovers a common yet previously overlooked interpersonal phenomenon and sheds new light on the paradoxes of interpersonal decision-making.

Adelle X. Yang and Oleg Urminsky, "Agent's Impatience: A Self-Other Decision Model of Intertemporal Choices" (To be resubmitted)

Abstract: Intertemporal choices represent one of the most common and fundamental trade-offs in consumer decision-making. How do intertemporal choices made for another person differ from similar choices made for oneself? To examine this question, the present research introduces the first integrative self-other decision model and experimentally tests five model-derived hypotheses. This model distinguishes between the psychological processes associated with vicarious versus reactive utility and highlights the pivotal role of anticipated affective reaction in interpersonal decision-making. Seven experiments and two additional replications reveal consistent results supporting model predictions. In particular, the results show that an intertemporal choice for a specified other person tends to reveal more impatience than an otherwise identical choice for oneself, contrary to what has previously been assumed, predicted, and reported in studies using abstract and unspecified others as recipients. This “agent's impatience” is moderated by decision characteristics, including the anticipated timing of the recipient’s affective reaction, the affective value of the choice options, and decision responsibility. This research provides critical insights and opens new avenues for research into intertemporal choices and interpersonal decision-making. 

Adelle X. Yang and Jasper Teow, "Decision-Induced Preference Changes from Choose versus Reject Frames"(Manuscript in preparation)

Abstract: Prior theories suggest that choice induces preference changes, we find that rejection induces more preference changes than choice. Six studies (N = 3,882) demonstrate that choose-versus-reject framing affects post-decision preference changes, with a larger evaluation gap between wanted and unwanted options observed from the reject frame than the choose frame. This effect is mediated by a greater perceived diagnosticity of the reject action than the choose action. This effect is attenuated when the consideration set comprised of highly similar options and when participants perceived a high level of decision difficulty. Finally, the effect is reversed when all options are undesirable.

Adelle X. Yang, Yanping Tu, Babu Gounder, and Rajesh Bagchi, "The Starting Problem and the Jumpstart Effect" (To be resubmitted)

Abstract: Many goal pursuits fail at the stage of commencement. Even when the first task is well within one’s capabilities, the thought of taking the first step can feel so daunting that people procrastinate or fail to start. How can people overcome their dread of starting and more promptly commence goal pursuits? We seek to understanding this starting problem and offer a remedy. We propose that the dread of starting may be better understood by integrating the models of actional phases with theories of mental representation. We demonstrate the dread of starting in a pilot study. Moreover, based on this integrated framework, we propose “jumpstart” interventions that leverages perceptual cues to facilitate goal commencement. We examine the effectiveness of the jumpstart interventions in four experiments with behavioral consequences for a variety of goals (e.g., academic performance, lifestyle, fitness). These studies also reveal additional insights on the underlying mechanism and corroborate our theorization. In sum, this research documents the dread of starting, suggests a practical intervention for the insidious and pervasive goal commencement failures, and offers a new perspective on related prior findings.