Trained to accept? A field experiment on consent dialogs

Research output: Contribution to book/conference proceedings/anthology/reportConference contributionContributedpeer-review



A typical consent dialog was shown in 2 x 2 x 3 experimental variations to 80,000 users of an online privacy tool. We find that polite requests and button texts pointing to a voluntary decision decrease the probability of consent - -in contrast to findings in social psychology. Our data suggests that subtle positive effects of polite requests indeed exist, but stronger negative effects of heuristic processing dominate the aggregated results. Participants seem to be habituated to coercive interception dialogs - -presumably due to ubiquitous EULAs - -and blindly accept terms the more their presentation resembles a EULA. Response latency and consultation of online help were taken as indicators to distinguish more systematic from heuristic responses.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI '10: Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Number of pages4
ISBN (electronic)978-1-60558-929-9
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Publication series

SeriesCHI: Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems


Title28th Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2010
Duration10 - 15 April 2010
CityAtlanta, GA
CountryUnited States of America

External IDs

ORCID /0000-0002-0466-562X/work/142246152


Research priority areas of TU Dresden


  • an.on/jondonym, default button, eula, field experiment, informed consent, privacy notices, user behavior