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EMAC 2019 Annual Conference

The Emotional Fallacy: How Positive Emotions Bias Experts’ Implementation Decisions in Crowdsourcing Ideas

Published: May 28, 2019


Johanna Brunneder, Edhec Business School; Oguz Acar, City University of London


innovation; crowdsourcing; emotions


Crowdsourcing has emerged as a promising way to harness the creative potential of consumers for innovation. A critical factor for firms for tapping into this potential is being able to identify the most innovative ideas among large volume of submissions generated by the crowd. In this research, we explore whether this selection is solely based on ideas’ innovative potential or whether emotional valence of submissions impact their odds of being implemented. Drawing on an analysis of submissions generated in a crowdsourcing platform, we find that ideas that contain positive words were more likely to be implemented. Importantly this result is robust to controlling for independent rating of the ideas (which were framed in a way that does not use emotional words but still communicate the very same idea), and number of comments and likes those ideas have received. No effect was observed for negative valence of ideas. As a whole, our work sheds new light on dynamics of crowdsourcing for innovation.