Reactions on Algorithms: a systematic Literature Review of Algorithm Aversion and Algorithm Appreciation

DSA External Course - 2021

May, 2020


The implementation of algorithms offers various new possibilities in the marketplace. However, relatively little is known about how people react towards algorithmic advice. The major part of research supports the phenomenon of algorithm aversion, which increasingly received attention in the twenty-first century. Despite that, recent research has also shown that people are not always averse to algorithms. This phenomenon is called algorithm appreciation. With the purpose of systematically reviewing people’s reactions towards algorithms, 128 peer-reviewed articles from various fields, published between 1954 and 2020, are taken into consideration. The consulted academic literature is categorized into four themes: causes of algorithm aversion and appreciation, individual differences, areas in which algorithms are rejected or appreciated, and strategies on how to overcome algorithm aversion. Each of the presented themes deals with different factors regarding decision aids, reactions from decision-makers and users as well as environmental influences. Therefore, overlapping and conflicting results are highlighted. This systematic literature review provides implications for decision-makers, especially for the field of marketing. It is suggested that there exists a research need for a clearer understanding of how people react towards algorithms. This review can serve as a basis for further investigations.

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