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EMAC 2021 Annual Conference

Measuring Susceptibility to Online Social Influence

Published: May 25, 2021


Sabrina Stäckli, University of Bern; Fabian Bartsch, Ieseg School of Management; Henry Shen, -


This research introduces consumer susceptibility to online social influence (SOSI) as a dispositional trait that captures the social dynamics of online social networks (OSNs). The SOSI construct captures consumers’ tendency to seek and accept information from others to reduce uncertainty when making decisions and to conform to social norms to obtain approval from others in OSNs. Across multiple studies, we develop a psychometrically sound and multi-dimensional higher order measure of SOSI. In testing its nomological network and its experimental application, we underline SOSI’s value-added role in helping explain various behaviors of OSN users related to trust, addiction, and information processing. Our results help disentangle prior findings and open avenues for further research on critical societal developments pertaining to OSN dynamics.