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Photo: Have a nice day, Shutterstock.com

Photo: Have a nice day, Shutterstock.com

How your mood could impact what you see online

10 January 2019

Professor Susanna Ho from the Research School of Accounting has published new research that shows how a person’s mood could be used to improve the effectiveness of personalised online content and recommendations.

Companies use a range of factors to personalise online content such as demographic profiles and browsing history, and now new technology has made it possible to measure people’s mood while they are online.

Professor Ho said her study looked at how people’s mood impacted the way they responded to personalised recommendations for food (tailored to their taste).

“When people are in different moods their brain functions in different ways, so a person in a good mood makes different decisions than when they are in a bad mood,” Professor Ho said.

“People in a good mood don’t think as much. They are more likely to donate to a charity or crowdfunding campaign and if something catches their eye, even if they don’t know why they like it, they still might buy it.

“When people are in a bad mood they have a negative bias and use more rational thinking, if you present them a recommendation without strong reasoning, they will reject it.

“Therefore people in a negative mood need more justification before they will accept a purchase recommendation.”

Professor Ho said the findings could have a range of applications for online functions including advertisements, reviews, recommendations and social media feeds.

Professor Ho and her team have presented this research project to chief executive officers and directors of personalisation teams in the information technology industry with an aim to implement mood personalisation in commercial products.

The research has been published in the journal MIS Quarterly.


Updated:   25 September 2019 / Responsible Officer:  CBE Communications and Outreach / Page Contact:  College Web Team