Rating with Confidence: How Rating Scales Affect Future WOM Behavior
42 Pages Posted: 18 Sep 2013
Date Written: September 17, 2013
Firms collecting product ratings are able to choose the scale design (e.g., 2-pt vs. 5-pt scales) for consumers to provide rating scores. While previous research on survey methodology has studied the impact of scale design on measurement reliability and validity, there has been little work documenting the potential impact of this choice following the rating event. The present research argues that the rating scale may affect a rater's likelihood of engaging in subsequent word-of-mouth (WOM) behavior. Specifically, conducting four experiments, we show that participants' WOM intentions are higher after evaluating their consumption experience on a 5-point rating scale than on a 2-point rating scale. We introduce a new construct – “rating certainty” – which reflects a rater's certainty belief regarding her chosen rating score and which mediates the relationship between rating scale and WOM intentions.
Keywords: word-of-mouth, product ratings, scale design
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation