Decision Science Digest: May 29, 2024

BALTIMORE, MD, May 29, 2024 –


EDITOR’S NOTE: Decision Science Digest is a periodic communique highlighting recent peer-reviewed research published by INFORMS, the largest association for the decision and data sciences, across its 17 journals. This issue highlights four press releases based on the findings of new peer-reviewed articles.

  • Short Videos or Longer Videos? What Content Length Restrictions Reveal About Consumer Behavior on TikTok (INFORMS journal Management Science)
  • Hidden Dealer Markups on Auto Financings Reveals Obvious Gender/Racial Bias (INFORMS journal Marketing Science)
  • The Power of Personal Beliefs on Tech Adoption (INFORMS journal Management Science)
  • Creating Equity in Electricity? Solar Options are Causing Price Hikes for Electricity Customers, New Research Finds a Solution (INFORMS journal Operations Research)

Analyzing Consumer Behavior on TikTok, Why Video Content Length Makes a Difference 

New research in the INFORMS journal Management Science analyzes platforms like TikTok’s consumer video length restrictions. These limits play a critical role in consumer behavior. In the paper, “Content Length Limit: How Does it Matter for a Consumer-to-Consumer Media Platform?,” the researchers deciphered TikTok’s “15-second magic.” They found that a shorter content length limit increases the click-through rate of a video on consumer-to-consumer media platforms such as TikTok. However, when the platform switches its strategic focus from short-term advertising revenue to long-term growth, it will benefit from extending content length limit. This result explains why TikTok extended the content length limit after its initial success. Link to full article.

Hidden Dealer Markups in Auto Financing Disproportionately Impacts Women and Minorities 

New research in the INFORMS journal Marketing Science identifies gender and racial gaps in auto dealer markups of auto financing interest rates. The study also suggests women and minorities with lower education and less financial knowledge tend to be more vulnerable to such disparities. In the paper, “Inequalities in Dealers’ Interest Rate Markups? A Gender and Race-based Analysis,” the researchers say that gender and racial gaps in dealer markups could amount to $40.3 million and $226.3 million annually in the U.S., respectively. The most vulnerable women and minorities can be charged $167 and $1,022 more than men and non-minorities, respectively, for a typical auto loan. Link to full article.

Cultural Worldviews Shape Perception and Adoption of New Technology 

New research in the INFORMS journal Management Science finds that cultural worldviews significantly affect how people perceive the benefits and privacy concerns of technologies such as digital contact tracing. In the paper, “Digital Contact Tracing for Pandemic Response: The Roles of Cultural Worldviews and Technology Awareness,” the researchers explain that these results mean personal values and beliefs can shape how people view emerging technologies, often more so than they realize. Individuals with certain cultural worldviews tend to see more benefits and fewer privacy concerns, which can influence their willingness to use these technologies. Link to full article.

Utilizing Solar Power May be Socially Undesirable as Neighboring Electric Customers Feel the Heat

New research in the INFORMS journal Operations Research explains how the adoption of residential solar power impacts electricity prices and the profitability of utility companies. The paper, “Harvesting Solar Power Foments Prices in a Vicious Cycle: Breaking the cycle with price mechanisms,” finds residences with solar power generation can inadvertently inflate the electricity bills of their neighbors without such generation; therefore, environmentally desirable solar generation may be socially undesirable. This paper suggests new and implementable electricity price mechanisms to slow or stop this from happening. Electricity market regulators can introduce a subscription fee for a residence with solar power generation for the services of on-demand electricity availability and transmission of excess electricity to other consumers. Link to full article.




As the largest professional association for the data and decision sciences, INFORMS members leverage mathematics and scientific methodologies to help organizations and governments at all levels make better, data-driven decisions. With more than 12,000 professional and student members from around the world, INFORMS members work to transform data into information, and information into insights that save lives, save money and solve problems.




Ashley Smith


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Decision Science Digest: May 29, 2024

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Ashley Smith
Public Affairs Coordinator
Catonsville, MD
[email protected]

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