DOI: 10.1002/mar.21982 ISSN: 0742-6046

Using large language models to generate silicon samples in consumer and marketing research: Challenges, opportunities, and guidelines

Marko Sarstedt, Susanne J. Adler, Lea Rau, Bernd Schmitt
  • Marketing
  • Applied Psychology


Should consumer researchers employ silicon samples and artificially generated data based on large language models, such as GPT, to mimic human respondents' behavior? In this paper, we review recent research that has compared result patterns from silicon and human samples, finding that results vary considerably across different domains. Based on these results, we present specific recommendations for silicon sample use in consumer and marketing research. We argue that silicon samples hold particular promise in upstream parts of the research process such as qualitative pretesting and pilot studies, where researchers collect external information to safeguard follow‐up design choices. We also provide a critical assessment and recommendations for using silicon samples in main studies. Finally, we discuss ethical issues of silicon sample use and present future research avenues.

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