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Online Review Helpfulness: Role of Qualitative Factors

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Saurabh BhattacharyaORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


Consumers are increasingly reading online reviews before making any purchasing decisions. Thesignificance of online reviews has only grown over the years. Though in the past, scholars haveemphasized the impact of quantitative factors (e.g., review ratings) on online reviews, only recentlyhave they begun to explore the role of qualitative aspects of online reviews. Content readability andassociated sentiments in text provide two important qualitative cues that influence the helpfulness ofonline reviews. However, the extant literature has overemphasized the linear association betweenthese aspects and the helpfulness of reviews. Using the elaboration likelihood model and the classicideal point concept, the current work asserts that after an ideal point is attained, lucid andsentimental reviews diminish in utility (i.e., helpfulness of an online review for consumersdecreases). This may happen because consumers are wary of fraudulent reviews. This study proposesthat if experienced reviewers give such extreme reviews, then consumers might still draw utilityfrom these reviews. In other words, this study explains the moderating role of reviewer experience,which heuristically influences consumers’ trust of online reviews, thus making even too simplistic orextremely sentimental reviews helpful.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Agnihotri A, Bhattacharya S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Psychology & Marketing

Year: 2016

Volume: 33

Issue: 11

Pages: 1006-1017

Print publication date: 01/11/2016

Online publication date: 12/10/2016

Acceptance date: 31/07/2016

Date deposited: 14/01/2017

ISSN (print): 0742-6046

ISSN (electronic): 1520-6793

Publisher: Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


DOI: 10.1002/mar.20934


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