טכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל
הטכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל - בית הספר ללימודי מוסמכים  
M.Sc Thesis
M.Sc StudentAizner Eliyahu
SubjectMaybe Others in My Situation but Not Me!
Discrepancies between Self and Other in Rewarding
Customer Anger
DepartmentDepartment of Industrial Engineering and Management
Supervisor Professor Anat Rafaeli
Full Thesis textFull thesis text - English Version


Abstract

Research finds that contrary to crowd wisdom, anger sometimes has beneficial consequences for those expressing it, as depicted in studies on anger and status/power. Yet contradicting the idea of potential positive outcomes of anger, societal norms suggest that expressions of anger are taboo, and that such expressions should not be rewarded. We examine this paradox in customer service settings; we predict a gap in perceptions of rewarding angry customer expressions between what customer service representatives (CSRs) report when asked whether they would compensate a customer expressing anger over a mishap caused by the organization, and what other CSRs report when asked whether other CSRs in the same situation would reward the same customer.       

      Our findings therefore show a ‘Third Person Effect’ between self and other responses regarding rewards by CSR s to angry customers, which we suggest is a case of the “Self-Serving Bias,” wherein people want to feel good about themselves, and so do not report that they reward anger.

     We tested this question in an online research Mturk survey with 407 participants, in a 2X2X2 between-subject design. We predicted a greater likelihood of this gap with participants who have fewer cognitive resources (experiencing cognitive load), because with fewer cognitive resources moral heuristics are salient and people want to protect their 'self', thereby saying they themselves won't reward customer anger. The experimental design had three IV’s (Emotion ? Cognitive Load ? Decision Source (self or other)) and confirmed that the Self-Serving-Bias Effect exists only with cognitive load. We discuss methodological and practical applications stemming from this research.