Swayed by Friends or by the Crowd?
14 Pages Posted: 22 Sep 2011 Last revised: 15 Nov 2012
Date Written: September 22, 2011
We have conducted three empirical studies of the effects of friend recommendations and general ratings on how online users make choices. We model and quantify how a user deciding between two choices trades off an additional rating star with an additional friend’s recommendation when selecting an item. We find that negative opinions from friends are more influential than positive opinions, and people exhibit “more random” behavior in their choices when the decision involves less cost and risk. Our results are quite general in the sense that people across different demographics trade off recommendations from friends and ratings from the general public in a similar fashion..
Keywords: social influence, recommender systems, social media
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