Authors: Jessica Krasnove, Zhihao Yu, Yanping Tu
Faculty Mentor: Yanping Tu
College: Warrington College of Business
This study explored the relationship between anonymity and consumers’ willingness to recommend a product. Current research proposed that participants are somewhat less inclined to recommend a product due to concerns about self-presentation. This study seeks to analyze the extent in which self-presentation concerns are mitigated when asked to share a sunscreen product anonymously or with their identity attached, given both a masculine and feminine-framed product. It was hypothesized that anonymity would increase the likelihood of participants recommending the gender-incongruent product while the likelihood of participants recommending the gender-congruent product would remain constant. Four-hundred three MTurk participants were randomly assigned to one of four conditions of the 2 x 2 survey instrument: (1) anonymous-congruent, (2) anonymous-incongruent, (3) identifiable-congruent, and (4) identifiable-incongruent. Using three-way ANOVA, the study found higher likeliness for female participants to share the product than male participants, as shown with the participant-gender main effect. Additionally, there was a marginally significant product-gender-congruity main effect where the gender-incongruent product had a higher probability of being shared. As demonstrated by the gender-incongruent product, where participants may have increased concerns about social image, anonymity plays a role in increasing recommendations of products on Facebook. However, this may not hold true for gender-congruent products.