Online Review Systems: How Emotional Language Drives Sales

Twentieth Americas Conference on Information Systems, 2014

Howe School Research Paper No. 2014-40

14 Pages Posted: 25 Jul 2014 Last revised: 24 Oct 2014

See all articles by Jie Ren

Jie Ren

Fordham University

Jeffrey V. Nickerson

Stevens Institute of Technology - School of Business

Date Written: April 18, 2014

Abstract

How does emotional expression in online reviews affect sales? To answer this question, a model is constructed based on theories of sentiment. This model is tested experimentally. Controlling for online review valence online review emotionality affects product sales. The impact is moderated by product type, but not by product price. Specifically, online review language that expresses intense positive or negative emotions increases sales for hedonic products, but it doesn’t affect sales for utilitarian products. This result has implications for the design of online review display algorithms.

Keywords: Online reviews, valence, arousal, emotional expression, sentiment, social media, sales, opinion mining, decision support

JEL Classification: M00, M3

Suggested Citation

Ren, Jie and Nickerson, Jeffrey V., Online Review Systems: How Emotional Language Drives Sales (April 18, 2014). Twentieth Americas Conference on Information Systems, 2014, Howe School Research Paper No. 2014-40, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2426694

Jie Ren (Contact Author)

Fordham University ( email )

Rose Hill Campus Bronx
New York, NY 10458
United States

Jeffrey V. Nickerson

Stevens Institute of Technology - School of Business ( email )

Hoboken, NJ 07030
United States

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