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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Product-related deceptive information practices in B2C e-commerce : formation, outcomes, and detection Xiao, Bo


With the rapid growth of e-commerce, online fraud and deception are also on the rise. However, compared to the rising public sensitivity to e-commerce deception, the academic research community’s interest in studying this phenomenon has not been high. Given the paucity in this area, this research aims to provide answers to the following research questions: How can product-related e-commerce deception be performed? How will different deceptive information practices affect consumer judgment and decision making? What are the consequences of e-commerce deception, when it is detected by consumers? How can counter-deception mechanisms be designed to help consumers better detect product-related e-commerce deception? To address these questions, a typology of deceptive information practices that takes into account the unique characteristics of business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce was first developed, providing a conceptual starting point for this research. Next, two online experiments were conducted to examine the effects of different e-commerce deception tactics on consumer decision making and to explore the effects of two design characteristics of a potential counter-deception mechanism (i.e., warning) on consumers’ deception detection performance. This research not only furthers our understanding of the phenomenon of e-commerce deception but also provides valuable input for government monitoring/regulating agencies, consumer protection/advocacy organizations, and industry associations in their effort to combat deception online. This research thus contributes to a user-focused approach to IS adoption research.

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