Full citation 545

Hattula, J. D., et al. 2015. "Managerial Empathy Facilitates Egocentric Predictions " Journal of Marketing Research 52(2): 235-252.       

Format: Peer-reviewed journal article

Type: Survey

Experience level of reader: Fundamental

Annotation: Business managers and researchers studying new product development agree that understanding user mentality is integral to product success. Empathy for the user should theoretically produce a better product. In reality, managers are unsuccessful at predicting consumer preferences because imagining customer’s preferences brings up distracting thoughts about his or her own preferences. More empathic managers are even more likely to ignore objective market research when it conflicts with their own consumer preferences.

Setting(s) to which the reported activities/findings are relevant: Large business, Small business (less than 500 employees), University.

Knowledge user(s) to whom the piece of literature may be relevant: Manufacturers, Policy Makers, Researchers.

Knowledge user level addressed by the literature: Basic

This article uses the Commercial Devices and Services version of the NtK Model

Primary findings


Marketing managers are also consumers and are apt to rely on self-referential preferences in lieu of objective evidence to the contrary when trying to be empathic.
Survey findings
Occurrences within model: NtK Step 1.2, 2.2


Making marketing managers aware of their implicit bias and instructing them to adopt another identity helps them to empathize with user needs without looking through the lens of their own preferences. Survey findings
Occurrences within model: NtK Step 1.2


Adopt a “consumer persona” or reflect on patient’s perspective before judging a product or service, because individual mindset influences anticipated needs and preferences.
Survey findings
Occurrences within model: NtK Stage 1.2