Anger in Consumer Reviews: Unhelpful but Persuasive?

74 Pages Posted: 28 May 2020

See all articles by Dezhi Yin

Dezhi Yin

University of South Florida

Samuel Bond

Georgia Institute of Technology; Georgia Institute of Technology - Scheller College of Business

Han Zhang

Georgia Institute of Technology - Scheller College of Business

Date Written: 2020

Abstract

A common assumption in prior research and practice is that more helpful online reviews will exert a greater impact on consumer attitudes and purchase decisions. We suggest that this assumption may not hold for reviews expressing anger. Building on Emotions as Social Information (EASI) theory, we propose that although expressions of anger in a negative review tend to decrease reader perceptions of review helpfulness, the same expressions tend to increase the negative influence of the review on reader attitudes and decisions. Results from a series of laboratory experiments provide support for our claims. Our findings challenge the widely accepted assumption that more “helpful” reviews are ultimately more persuasive, and they extend current understanding of the interpersonal effects of emotion in online communication. Our findings also suggest implications for review platforms, retailers, marketers, and manufacturers faced with the task of managing consumer reviews.

Keywords: anger, online reviews, review helpfulness, consumer attitudes, online word-of-mouth, discrete emotions, emotions as social information

Suggested Citation

Yin, Dezhi and Bond, Samuel and Zhang, Han, Anger in Consumer Reviews: Unhelpful but Persuasive? (2020). MIS Quarterly, Forthcoming, Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business Research Paper No. 3588859, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3588859

Dezhi Yin (Contact Author)

University of South Florida ( email )

Tampa, FL 33620
United States

Samuel Bond

Georgia Institute of Technology ( email )

Atlanta, GA 30332
United States

Georgia Institute of Technology - Scheller College of Business ( email )

800 West Peachtree St.
Atlanta, GA 30308
United States

Han Zhang

Georgia Institute of Technology - Scheller College of Business ( email )

800 West Peachtree St.
Atlanta, GA 30308
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
55
Abstract Views
219
rank
404,801
PlumX Metrics