Algorithmic anxiety and coping strategies of airbnb hosts

Shagun Jhaver, Yoni Karpfen, Judd Antin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Algorithms increasingly mediate how work is evaluated in a wide variety of work settings. Drawing on our interviews with 15 Airbnb hosts, we explore the impact of algorithmic evaluation on users and their work practices in the context of Airbnb. Our analysis reveals that Airbnb hosts engage in a double negotiation on the platform: They must negotiate efforts not just to attract potential guests but also to appeal to only partially transparent evaluative algorithms. We found that a perceived lack of control and uncertainty over how algorithmic evaluation works can create anxiety among some Airbnb hosts. We present a framework for understanding this double negotiation, as well as a case study of coping strategies that hosts employ to deal with their anxiety. We conclude with a discussion of design solutions that can help reduce algorithmic anxiety and increase confidence in algorithmic systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCHI 2018 - Extended Abstracts of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Subtitle of host publicationEngage with CHI
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
ISBN (Electronic)9781450356206, 9781450356213
StatePublished - Apr 20 2018
Externally publishedYes
Event2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2018 - Montreal, Canada
Duration: Apr 21 2018Apr 26 2018

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings


Conference2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


  • Airbnb
  • Algorithm
  • Algorithmic awareness
  • Coping strategies
  • Human-centered algorithms
  • Performance evaluation
  • Sensemaking
  • Sharing economies


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