University of Twente Student Theses


Viva voce: online reviews, valence, availibility of personal information and the moderating role of product type

Koenders, Maarten (2015) Viva voce: online reviews, valence, availibility of personal information and the moderating role of product type.

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Abstract:Consumers see online reviews as an important instrument in their purchase process. Whereas earlier a consumer’s trust was based on advertisements and (product) experts’ opinions, nowadays online reviews have taken over this role. Consumers can encourage or discourage fellow consumers from buying a certain product by means of an online review. This means that an online review can be deemed as either positive or negative. Past studies argue that consumers look for evidence in order to assess the credibility of the sender. The presence of reviewers’ personal information could play a role here. Valence and availability of personal information are the independent variables in this study. Former studies also indicate that product type is an interesting moderator, experience- and search goods are distinguished in this research. The used variables in this study have not been combined in previous studies; explaining the uniqueness of this study. The research model used in this study is a 2x2x2 within-subjects design. The data was gathered through an online survey. A total of 131 participants participated in the study. The outcomes show that positive online reviews are seen as more credible compared to negative online reviews. Results also show that adding personal information to an online review positively influences the credibility. Personal information consisted of a profile picture, a real person’s name, age of the reviewer, residence of the reviewer and the number of written reviews. Finally, outcomes indicate that positive online reviews lead to a higher probability of purchase and a more positive attitude towards the product than negative online reviews do. Conclusively, limitations and suggestions for future research are discussed in this thesis.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
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