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What motivates people to write online reviews and which role does personality play? : a study providing insights in the influence of seven motivations on the involvement to write positive and negative online reviews and how five personality traits play a role

Rensink, J.M. (2013) What motivates people to write online reviews and which role does personality play? : a study providing insights in the influence of seven motivations on the involvement to write positive and negative online reviews and how five personality traits play a role.

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Abstract:With the upcoming web 2.0 consumers themselves are taking part in the brand imaging process, what causes the world to shift from a word of mouth (WOM) to an ‘electronic word of mouth’ (eWOM) society. Due to the rising power of ‘prosumers’, the producing consumers that create user generated content (UGC), the producer’s influence is declining. With this change in marketing communication, marketers need to know who the creators of user generated content exactly are, what the prosumer drives to create content that can both positively and negatively influence their brand and how they can be reached to do so. Based on three studies regarding the motivations of engaging in traditional word of mouth and nine studies describing the motivations of engaging in eWOM and creating UGC, this study measured the effect of seven motivations on the involvement in creating online content: venting negative feelings, helping other consumers, warning other consumers, self enhancement, social benefits, helping the company and advice seeking. The involvement conceptualizes the degree in which individuals find their creation relevant and important. When the involvement is higher, people are more interested in their created content and more interested in what their motivations are. Therefore, they will be more likely to actually write an online review. Also, moderating effects were expected for five personality traits and the nature of the content (i.e. positive and negative content). This study hypothesises that there are several differences in motivations for creating positive content in comparison to creating negative content. Therefore, two different scenarios are used. The online survey contained nineteen items regarding the motivations, ten to measure the involvement and ten items to describe the individual’s personality. A total of 351 Internet users participated in this study. Results in this study provided empirical evidence that one of the motivations is applicable for being more involved in creating online reviews; i.e. the motivation ‘social benefits’. Furthermore, this study concludes that there are several differences between motivations in creating positive and negative reviews. The five personality traits showed only few significant results and seem to have a small impact on motivations to create an online review; the personality trait neuroticism has an interaction effect on the influence of the motivations self enhancement, social benefits and venting negative feelings on the involvement. Also less open individuals are more involved in creating content to vent negative feelings.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/63536
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