Geoff Tomaino (INSEAD) and Kuangjie Zhang (NTU)

November 5, 2020 - 3:00 pm

The Effect of Time-series Data Representation on Risk Taking in the COVID-19 Crisis

Geoff Tomaino and Dan Walters (INSEAD)

We find that an individual’s risk taking is impacted by perceived trends in past time-series data. An individual’s perception of trends in time-series data can be altered by presenting information on an absolute basis (e.g., 20,329 new cases of COVID-19 in the US on May 10th) or on a relative basis (e.g., a 1.5% increase in cases in the US on May 10th). Despite displaying identical data, absolute charts that show an upward visual trend will often show a downward trend when presented on a relative basis. We find that there is heterogeneity in whether public facing institutions present trend data on an absolute or relative basis, and that this heterogeneity likely affects risky choices and judgments. When individuals were shown real COVID-19 data in a relative, as opposed to absolute chart they were more likely to take real risks, such as breaking quarantine. This is the first paper to examine how an individual’s prospective risk taking is influenced by perceptual differences in time-series trends, holding the situation in the present constant.

Sizes Are Gendered: The Effect of Size Cues in Brand Names on Brand Stereotyping

Kuangjie Zhang (NTU, Singapore), Shaobo Li (SUSTech, China), Sharon Ng (NTU, Singapore)

The use of size cues in brand names (e.g., Xiaomi and Mini Cooper) is increasingly common in the industry. Despite its prevalence, scant research has investigated whether and how the use of such size cues in brand names influences consumers’ perceptions. In this research, we show that size cues in brand names can evoke gender associations, which affect consumer perceptions of warmth and competence of the target brand. Specifically, we show that brands with size cues of smallness (bigness) in the name are perceived to be warmer but less competent. A combination of mediation and moderation-of-process approaches provide converging support for the role of gender association underlying the effect of size cues in brand names on brand perception.