Manufactured opinions: The effect of manipulating online product reviews
Geng Cui and
Journal of Business Research, 2018, vol. 87, issue C, 24-35
Previous research assumes that consumers can detect and discount the manipulation of online product reviews or are oblivious to such practices. We posit that the equilibrium occurs due to the cues of manipulation, consumer suspicion and their expertise. Our analysis of hotel occupancy data shows that the effect of adding positive reviews and deleting negative reviews on sales exhibits an inverted U-curve. Moreover, weak brands suffer more from excessive adding. Our laboratory experiments find that adding affects consumer purchase intention, but it also arouses suspicion, which exerts a negative mediating effect. Deleting is more disguised and difficult to be suspected. Novices are more influenced by manipulations compared with their experienced counterparts. Thus, contrary to the popular belief of “fake it until you make it,” excessive adding leads to consumer distrust and may backfire. Deleting exacerbates information asymmetry and results in adverse selection, thus warrants restraint and regulation.
Keywords: Online product reviews; Manipulation; Suspicion; Persuasion knowledge; E-commerce (search for similar items in EconPapers)
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations View citations in EconPapers (1) Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:jbrese:v:87:y:2018:i:c:p:24-35
Access Statistics for this article
Journal of Business Research is currently edited by A. G. Woodside
More articles in Journal of Business Research from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Dana Niculescu ().