Artificial Hesitation: The Influence of Religion on Consumers’ Evaluations of Brands Using AI

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Paper Presentation

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Prior research is limited that examines how consumers respond to artificial intelligence used in marketing. Specifically, more research is needed that explores which consumers are more likely to support AI use in marketing as well as why this occurs to develop targeted marketing campaigns toward these consumers. Through three studies, our research addresses these gaps by testing the role of religiosity on AI evaluations. Study 1 shows that religiosity positively influences perceptions of AI in marketing, which is mediated by greater trust in AI. Study 2 shows that religiously primed consumers more positively evaluate companies and their employees when AI is used. Study 3 confirms the underlying mechanisms of these effects using a virtual conversational agent by showing that higher religiosity consumers are more trusting of the unseen, which leads to greater trust of a company, and ultimately positively influences evaluations of companies using AI. We contribute to belief congruence theory in identifying the role of trust in the belief-behavior relationship. We also identify how marketers can use religious cues to increase trust in AI.


American Marketing Association (AMA) Winter Academic Conference


Nashville, TN


College of Business and Management


2023 AMA Winter Academic Conference

  • Feb. 6, 2023 - Virtual
  • Feb. 10-12 - Nashville, TN

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