The reliance on recognition and majority vote heuristics over privacy concerns when selecting smartphone apps among German and US consumers

Sven Joeckel, Leyla Dogruel, Nicholas Bowman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The smartphone app market is a prime example of a digital market where consumers are tasked with selecting one option among a plethora of alternatives, at times indistinguishable from one another. Building upon findings on information processing and decision-making, we postulate that consumers follow simple (rather than complex) heuristic rules to navigate the app market. In particular, we focus on two such strategies: the recognition heuristic and the majority vote heuristic. App privacy information was also considered as a potentially salient cue in the decision-making process, given the personal data stored on smartphones. Results of a mixed-method design (behavioral analysis and think-aloud protocols) study with German (N = 18) and US (N = 25) students find a dominance of the recognition heuristic. Decisions are further supported by majority vote heuristics. Privacy information is largely disregarded, particularly by US participants. Implications for app market design and engageme
Original languageEnglish
JournalDefault journal
StatePublished - 2016


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