Best Theory Paper in Track @ ICIS 2020
(16.02.2021) The paper "Social Comparison in mHealth: The Role of Similar Others and Feelings of Envy" by Monica Fallon, Manuel Schmidt-Kraepelin, Scott Thiebes, Simon Warsinsky, and Ali Sunyaev has been awarded with the Best Theory Paper Award in the track IS in Healthcare at the 41st International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS 2020).
Abstract: To foster ambitious goal setting, mHealth app developers increasingly implement social comparison features such as leaderboards. However, extant research does not sufficiently look at affective consequences of such features and their impact on goal- setting behavior. We focus on two aspects of social comparison to better address this issue: (1) the similarity of comparison targets and (2) the affective consequence of envy. We distinguish between two similarity dimensions (performance and related attributes) and two distinct emotions of envy (benign and malicious). In an experimental study, we find that comparing to targets similar on related attributes (age and gender) determines the relevance of the comparison and positively impacts benign and malicious envy. We further show that comparing to targets similar in performance (step count) decreases malicious envy and increases benign envy, based on appraisals of perceived control. Moreover, benign and malicious envy differentially impact goal-setting behavior.