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EMAC 2022 Annual

Stage-Dependent Customer Engagement in Dual-Stage Data Disclosure Decisions: An Evaluation of Affective versus Cognitive Appeals

Published: May 24, 2022


Lea Postel, University of Passau; Thomas Widjaja, Universtity of Passau; Jan Schumann, University of Passau


Consumers need to decide about entering the data disclosure process as a first decision stage before deciding about actually disclosing personal data as a second decision stage. This paper contributes to the underexplored phenomenon of dual-stage data disclosure decisions by investigating the stage-dependent effects of different appeals and explaining the underlying psychological processes through the lens of customer engagement literature. To this end, the authors conducted an online scenario experiment (n=278) in an online fashion retail context. Different engagement dimensions were found to mediate the effect of the appeal on stage 1 decisions versus stage 2 decisions. Surprisingly, higher affective engagement was caused by the cognitive appeal instead of the affective appeal only in stage 1, but not in stage 2. These findings confirm that appeals are indeed stage-dependent and provide managers with advice on designing sequential processes that encourage greater overall disclosure.