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EMAC 2022 Annual

Tell me more: The effects of Herding Behaviour, Disclosure Reciprocity and Question Sequence on Consumer Voluntary Information Disclosure

Published: May 24, 2022


Christos Themistocleous, Cyprus University of Technology


The present paper examines how different question presentation techniques influence voluntary disclosure of private and sensitive information by consumers focusing on the effects of three instrumental factors in questionnaire design – namely comparative nature (Acquisti, et al. 2012) dyadic relationships (Zimmer et al., 2010), and question sequence (Moon, 2000) and their impact on actual information disclosure. The research utilises a 3x3x3 between-subjects experiment generating 27 different conditions, each of which reflects a unique question presentation technique. After a pre-test study, 1336 UK participants were recruited and randomly assigned to the main 27 conditions. Results from the ANOVAs indicate that an ascending order of privacy invasiveness in questionnaires maximises information disclosure. Likewise reasoned disclosure reciprocity conditions significantly increase disclosure along with conditions that triggered herding/mimicking behaviour for information divulgence.