The PhD thesis includes three research articles that investigate the likely drivers and outcomes of consumer self-tracking behavior.
The findings of the thesis provide useful insights for managers to improve adoption or usage rates of self-tracking products, as well as for producers to design self-tracking products that can increase consumer enjoyment.
The first article undertakes a systematic review of the extant literature on self-tracking behavior, specifically in the context of fitness tracking. The review identifies 18 drivers of fitness-tracking technology adoption (e.g., age, technology affinity, data quality, and perceived device value etc.) and reveals four main outcomes of fitness tracking (i.e., task motivation, task experience, physical activity level, and well-being/health).
The second article examines a situational factor (i.e., incidental curiosity) that can facilitate consumer self-tracking behavior and explains the causal mechanism. Three experiments demonstrate that incidentally induced curiosity enhances consumers’ perceived value of curiosity-relevant unknown information (e.g., answer to a puzzle). This positive perception in turn spills over to other curiosity-irrelevant unknown information—increases perceived value of curiosity-irrelevant unknown information (e.g., unknown self-related information). As a result, incidental curiosity increases consumers’ intention to use self-tracking technologies.
The third article explores the effect of self-tracking on consumer experience (i.e., enjoyment, subjective vitality) by considering the role of both individual and contextual factors. Three experiments demonstrate that, for effortful tasks, self- tracking has contrasting effects on the task experience of different consumer segments: i.e., a positive effect on the females versus a negative effect on the males. This is due to females’ (vs. males’) tendency to underestimate (vs. overestimate) themselves. As self-tracking feedback can help females realize that they are more capable than they previously thought, self-tracking increases females’ (vs. males’) perceived competence, which in turn increases females’ (vs. males’) task experience.