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Investigating the effect of quality of grammar and mechanics (QGAM) in online reviews: The mediating role of reviewer crediblity

Seth Ketron

Journal of Business Research, 2017, vol. 81, issue C, 51-59

Abstract: Grammar and mechanics are important components of written communication and provide signals of credibility. Although past research has documented general effects of grammar and mechanics, to date, the influence of quality of grammar and mechanics (QGAM) of online reviews remains largely unexamined. Through the lens of ELM, the present research examines QGAM of a review as a peripheral cue influencing the perceived credibility of a reviewer, finding that reviews with high QGAM have higher perceived credibility and exert a stronger influence on purchase intentions. Meanwhile, reviews with low QGAM are not as credible, influencing purchase intentions less. Product type, review length, and review valence moderate these influences, such that QGAM is more important for reviews of experience goods and reviews of shorter lengths. Further, reviewer credibility fully mediates positive reviews but does not mediate negative reviews. Implications, limitations, and future research directions are discussed.

Keywords: Online reviews; Grammar/mechanics; Reviewer credibility; Purchase intentions; ELM (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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Handle: RePEc:eee:jbrese:v:81:y:2017:i:c:p:51-59