X.ITE Research Competition On How Cyber Consumers Think And Act



X-ITE is pleased to announce an initiative to foster novel research on the broad topic of “How Cyber Consumers Think and Act: A Multi-Method Approach. We have allocated a special fund of 15.000 to cover the direct costs of a research grant. Competitive submissions should propose high quality research on critical questions in this area that are relevant to both academics and marketing practitioners. This is open to all research methodologies and approaches.
Submissions will be evaluated using a two-stage process. The initial submission should be a pre-proposal not more than 1,200 words in length describing the proposed research plan (details below). Pre-proposals may be submitted at Questo indirizzo email è protetto dagli spambots. È necessario abilitare JavaScript per vederlo. by April 8th, 2018. X.ITE will evaluate the materials received by end of April and the authors of promising pre-proposals will be encouraged to submit a full proposal (no more than 20 double-spaced pages) for consideration for funding. The deadline for full proposals is May 27th, 2018. The funding decisions will be made by June 3rd, 2018.

For any requirement and for the proposal's submission use the following email address: Questo indirizzo email è protetto dagli spambots. È necessario abilitare JavaScript per vederlo..


One of the hallmarks of human species compared to animal species is material culture and the special interest in objects. The rapid growth of technology (e.g. social networks, smart objects, internet of things, artificial intelligence, and biometrics) has caused major changes in human behavior. Despite their huge impact on humans’ lifestyle there is very limited understanding about the drivers (psychological, neurophysiological, behavioral, etc.) that underlie consumer emotional (e.g. love, fear) and social experiences with intelligent technology. Nowadays, scientist and practitioners are challenged to improve their knowledge and to better understand the motives and processes that modulate consumers’ interaction with intelligent technology. For example, using neurophysiological metrics to study the consumers’ affective and cognitive experience with smart objects and the probability of adopting technological innovation provides a window, complementary to self-reports, into the physiological processes that influence consumer behavior. In general, individual insights can help marketing professionals understand the mechanisms that influence consumer’s behavior, which might assist them in improving the allocation of marketing resources to better match customer motives and preferences and eventually translates into more sales.

Topics: Research proposals should address an intriguing problem with a balance of rigor and relevance. The resulting insights should provide new tools, methods, insights or suggested actions for business practice. Topics preferably combine problems in marketing, business, innovation, psychology, and/or consumer neuroscience, and include (but are not restricted to):

  • Barriers to Intelligent Technology Adoption: Understand how existing barriers of adoption affect consumer behavior and decision making process in relation to intelligent technology. For example, studies that link adoption practices to privacy and security, technology immaturity, social and ethical issues, technology dependence, perceived uselessness, price and novelty.
  • Consumer and Intelligent Technology: Understanding the psychological and neurophysiological drivers that underlie consumer emotional and social (e.g. reward, treat) experience with intelligent technology. For example, studies that link psychological models of behavior and personality traits to biological markers (e.g. hormones, genes), neural activity (e.g. EEG and/or fMRI), response times, gaze patterns (e.g. eye tracking), or clicking patterns (e.g. kinematics).
  • Cyber Consumers, intention to adopt, and Word-of-Mouth (WOM): Understanding the social, emotional and psychological drivers of adoption and electronic word-of-mouth in cyber communities interested in smart objects. For example, studies that link valance of WOM, interpersonal closeness, reward experience, self-enhancement to changes in consumers purchase behavior, brand attitude, and brand engagement in virtual brand communities.
  • Consumer Neuroscience and Advertising: Understand how psychological models of behavior and biological blueprints influence consumer’s neurophysiological responses to advertising of intelligent technology.


  • Consumers and Robot: understand how consumers think, feel, and behave in their interactions with robots. In this area issues related to anthropomorphism, the formation of emotional attachment, feelings toward robots are extremely relevant. At the same time, in considering the increased use of robots, concerns about deception, privacy, safety, job loss and the loss of human relationships need to be explored.

All pre-proposals should follow this format:

  • Title: Title of Research
  • Researchers: Name, affiliation and contact information for all researchers
  • Statement of intended contribution: This section should include a clear, concise statement of how the proposed research would provide a novel and interesting contribution and what marketing managers might do differently as a result of the research findings.
  • Motivation and research question(s): This section should include a statement of the specific research question(s) that will be addressed, why they are important and interesting, and what the researchers expect to learn from answering these questions.
  • Brief description of the research design and methodology: This section should include study design, data sources/collection procedures, experiments to be run (if applicable), modeling techniques to be used (if applicable), and any other relevant details.
  • Overall Funding and Support Needs: This section should include a brief description of the budget for the project including specific budget items and amounts (not to exceed 7.000€).
  • Vita(e) of the researchers.

Pre-proposals should not exceed 1,200 words excluding vita(e) and title page.
Pre-proposals are encouraged to draw upon diverse theoretical perspectives and methodologies. Studies may be conceptual or empirical; and they may involve combinations of methodological approaches including literature reviews, comparative studies, observational and ethnographic studies, naturalistic, laboratory, or field experiments, econometric models, and so forth. Projects using multiple methodologies are especially welcomed. Researchers are encouraged to identify industry collaborators.

There is no required standard format for full proposals, although clarity and brevity are appreciated. In addition to a cover letter, submissions should include:

  • A one-page summary
  • A statement of expected outcomes or new knowledge, such as a new definition or framework, a new methodology, a better understanding of how key variables affect the marketing process, or new information to assist managers in making better marketing decisions
  • A background section giving a brief review of the relevant literature and a statement of how the proposed research is expected to contribute to knowledge and improve business practice
  • A list of research questions, models, or hypotheses describing the issues to be studied, the researchers’ initial insights or beliefs, and what should be learned from the study
  • A detailed description of research design and methodology
  • A timetable, including dates for key research milestones, deliverables, and an expected completion date
  • Funding or support needs (typically, an itemized budget)
  • Vita(e) of the researcher(s), as well as a short biographical note on each of the authors

The main body of the full proposal should probably be no more than 20 double-spaced pages in length. Please feel free to include any additional materials that might be useful to the reviewers in appendices (for example, drafts of research materials, questionnaires, more detailed explanations of statistical analysis, and/or modeling plans, lengthy literature review, description of datasets to be used, etc.).


The primary criterion for accepting proposals is quality. Proposals are initially screened by X-ite scientific committee. On occasion, proposals may be sent for further review to academics who have a special expertise in the field or to appropriate member company executives.

Proposals are judged in terms of: (1) potential contribution to practice and thought, (2) originality and intellectual appeal of the proposed research, (3) quality of conceptual development, (4) appropriateness of the methodology for the research, (5) feasibility of the research, and (6) qualifications of the researchers for the project.

When a proposal is accepted, X.ite prepares a letter of agreement that outlines the responsibilities of both the researchers and X.ite. Researchers agree to submit a brief written progress report at the halfway point and a final working paper describing the results of the research. Working papers should be submitted to X.ite before submission to refereed journals. At the conclusion of a project, X.ite may on occasion arrange for findings to be presented at conferences with other researchers and interested practitioners.