Is seeing believing? How recommender interfaces affect users' opinions

Dan Cosley, Shyong K. Lam, Istvan Albert, Joseph A. Konstan, John Riedl

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

297 Scopus citations

Abstract

Recommender systems use people's opinions about items in an information domain to help people choose other items. These systems have succeeded in domains as diverse as movies, news articles, Web pages, and wines. The psychological literature on conformity suggests that in the course of helping people make choices, these systems probably affect users' opinions of the items. If opinions are influenced by recommendations, they might be less valuable for making recommendations for other users. Further, manipulators who seek to make the system generate artificially high or low recommendations might benefit if their efforts influence users to change the opinions they contribute to the recommender. We study two aspects of recommender system interfaces that may affect users' opinions: the rating scale and the display of predictions at the time users rate items. We find that users rate fairly consistently across rating scales. Users can be manipulated, though, tending to rate toward the prediction the system shows, whether the prediction is accurate or not. However, users can detect systems that manipulate predictions. We discuss how designers of recommender systems might react to these findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages585-592
Number of pages8
StatePublished - Jul 28 2003
EventThe CHI 2003 New Horizons Conference Proceedings: Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Ft. Lauderdale, FL, United States
Duration: Apr 5 2003Apr 10 2003

Other

OtherThe CHI 2003 New Horizons Conference Proceedings: Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
CountryUnited States
CityFt. Lauderdale, FL
Period4/5/034/10/03

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design

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    Cosley, D., Lam, S. K., Albert, I., Konstan, J. A., & Riedl, J. (2003). Is seeing believing? How recommender interfaces affect users' opinions. 585-592. Paper presented at The CHI 2003 New Horizons Conference Proceedings: Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, United States.