Linguistic Similarity between Product Reviews and Attitude Certainty of their Writers and Readers
43 Pages Posted: 16 Jul 2018 Last revised: 7 Oct 2019
Date Written: October 7, 2019
Marketers actively solicit reviews from customers who used their products, and consumers interested in learning more about the products often rely on these reviews to form their attitudes. This paper discovers and examines an asymmetry in the relation between similarity of the language of product reviews and attitude certainty, investigating both review writers and readers. We show that review writers who are more certain in their attitudes towards the product are more likely to generate reviews that are linguistically different from other reviews. Conversely, we find that readers of linguistically different product reviews become less certain about the product, compared with readers of similar reviews. We test the mediating role of need for validation in this process, discuss managerial and theoretical consequences of this asymmetry, test the effect of grouping reviews by linguistic similarity, and demonstrate how such grouping may benefit both firms and consumers.
Keywords: Language Similarity, Attitude Certainty, Product Review, Word of Mouth
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation