Leadership: Influencing Decision Making


Thursday, February 6, 2020, 4:00pm to 5:30pm


Darman Room (Taubman 135), Harvard Kennedy School
Made by Mistake: When Mistakes Increase Product Preference
4:00-5:30 p.m.
Taubman 135, Darman Seminar Room
Taubman Building, 1st Floor
Harvard Kennedy School
The Leadership: Influencing Decision Making speaker series provides an opportunity for scholars to share and learn about cutting edge research related to the topic of leadership, broadly defined.
You are invited to attend on Thursday, February 6, 2020 with guest speaker Taly Reich, Associate Professor of Marketing, Yale School of Management. Refreshments served!

talyMistakes are often undesirable and frequently result in negative inferences about the person or company that made the mistake. Consequently, research suggests that information about mistakes is rarely shared with consumers. However, we find that consumers actually prefer products that were made by mistake to otherwise identical products that were made intentionally. This preference arises because consumers perceive that a product made by mistake is more improbable relative to a product made intentionally, and thus, view the product as more unique. We find converging evidence for this preference in a field study, six experiments, and eBay auction sales. Importantly, this preference holds regardless of whether the mistake enhances or detracts from the product. However, in domains where consumers do not value uniqueness (e.g., utilitarian goods), the preference is eliminated.