Associate Professor WANG Cheng’s Publication Recognized as an ESI Highly Cited Paper


According to the latest data from Essential Science Indicators (ESI), Dr. WANG Cheng’s publication in 2021 entitled “Understanding Anthropomorphism in Service Provision: A Meta-Analysis of Physical Robots, Chatbots, and Other AI” has been recognized as an ESI Highly Cited Paper, placing it in the top 1% of the academic field of Economics & Business.

Published in July 2021 in the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, this article investigates the effects of anthropomorphism on consumers’ acceptance of service robots.


Today, an increasing number of firms introduce service robots, such as physical robots and virtual chatbots, to provide services to customers. While some firms use robots that resemble human beings by looking and acting humanlike to increase customers’ use intention of this technology, others employ machinelike robots to avoid uncanny valley effects, assuming that very humanlike robots may induce feelings of eeriness. There is no consensus in the literature regarding whether customers’ anthropomorphism of robots facilitates or constrains their use intention.

Therefore, the present meta-analysis develops a comprehensive model and synthesizes data from 11,053 individuals interacting with service robots reported in 108 independent samples to clarify this issue. Results show that the impact depends on robot type and service type. Based on these findings, a comprehensive agenda for future research on service robots in marketing is proposed.



Dr. WANG Cheng is an Associate Professor of Marketing at ZIBS. Prior to joining ZIBS, he has worked at Newcastle University, Durham University, and Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University. Within the area of service marketing and management, his research interests are focused on consumer acceptance and adoption of service technology. He has published in the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Journal of Service Research, among others.

According to ESI, Highly Cited Papers are “papers that perform in the top 1% based on the number of citations received when compared to other papers published in the same field in the same year.” They have higher scholarly impact.

( Credits: ZIBS)