Behavioral Science Workshops
Invited guests, faculty, and students present current research in decision-making and judgment in our workshop series. The emphasis of our workshop series is on behavioral implications of decision and judgment models.
- Where: Chicago Booth Harper Center, Classroom C06 - Note this year's workshops will be offered IN-PERSON ONLY
- When: Mondays 10:10–11:30 a.m. (unless otherwise noted)
- Who can attend: Workshops are open to Roman Family Center faculty, researchers, staff, and students, plus invited guests. Additional requests to attend the workshop are handled on a case-by-case basis. Please email Tricia.Nicholson@chicagobooth.edu if you’d like to attend.
Winter Workshop Series
Monday, February 27, 2023
Columbia Business School
"Perceptual Distortions Undermine Virtual Communication"
The COVID-19 pandemic engendered the widespread adoption of videoconferencing across numerous sectors, including healthcare, sales, education, and hiring. Although videocalls offer many benefits, this paper examines a novel issue introduced by this communication medium: perceptual distortions, in which audiovisual information is unnaturally warped. We test our predictions in the empirical context of glitches, or small and fleeting errors like lags and freezes in audio or video. Although consumers and managers believe that that these interruptions do not affect judgments, five studies across several consequential domains suggest that lay intuitions are incorrect. Results reveal that, despite not affecting objective comprehension, minor video-call glitches undermine persuasion and connection. This is because glitches violate fundamental expectations of human interaction (e.g., by distorting one’s face, misaligning audio and visual cues, or making movement appear “choppy”), evoking a sense of “uncanniness” or eeriness. Consequently, we find that glitches only undermine post-communication outcomes in contexts intended to mimic face-to-face interactions. We end by exploring possible interventions to counteract this sense of uncanniness and recoup the communication harms incurred by glitches.