“[Some apps] are free to use, so how do we determine the value of it?” The Division of Business and Management (DBM) hosted a lecture on 6 March featuring guest speaker Professor Matthew Rousu.

Prof Rousu is the Dean of Economics at Susquehanna University in Pennsylvania, US.

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Prof Rousu

Prof Rousu discussed his research experiment involving participants engaging in an ‘experimental auction’. This auction is to measure the value and worth of free social media apps. Participants auctioned the price it would take to get them to deactivate their social media account for a certain amount of time. For his specific experiment results, on average, participants would deactivate their social media account for $4 USD for one day, $14 USD for three days, and $37 USD for seven days.

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Prof Rousu and Dean of DBM Prof Stella Cho

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A very engaging audience

In a collaborative experiment with Jay Corrigan, Saleem Alhabash, and Sean Cash, there were now 6 different sample groups, all consisting of university staff, students, and community members. While all groups had a different average, each group was at least above $1,000 USD for one full year of deactivation of social media.

Prof Rousu concluded his presentation by discussing how this information is important to entrepreneurs and certain businesses. He explained that “just because something is free, does not mean there is no value”. Business and economic analysts can benefit from studying social influences because that is where the consumers are.

Reporter: Marissa Furney
Photographer: Aria Wu
Editor: Deen He
(from MPRO)