Emotional expressions in online user reviews: How they influence consumers' product evaluations
This article investigates an understudied aspect of online word-of-mouth (eWOM) — the effects of emotional expressions in eWOM. Two experiments investigate how consumers interpret emotional expressions in online user reviews and the subsequent impact on their product evaluations. The findings reveal that negative emotional expressions in a single negative review tend to decrease the reviews' informative value and make consumers' product evaluations less negative because consumers attribute the negative emotions to the reviewer's irrational dispositions. However, positive emotional expressions in a single positive review do not influence consumers' product evaluations significantly even though consumers attribute the positive emotions to the product. Next, when multiple convergent emotional expressions are present in multiple user reviews, both positive and negative emotional expressions increase informative value of the reviews and polarize consumers' product evaluations in the respective direction.
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