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Is silence golden? An inquiry into the meaning of silence in professional product evaluations

Author

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  • Wagner Kamakura

    ()

  • Suman Basuroy

    ()

  • Peter Boatwright

    ()

Abstract

The world today is rife with product recommendations from professional critics and experts that are available from numerous sources—television, magazines, radio, internet, etc. Very often these recommendations shape our decisions and choices. In this study, we investigate two main issues regarding expert opinions. First, we present an approach that uses information available from every expert, including those who are silent about the product, to obtain a consensus measure of expert opinion. Our model also allows us to obtain a measure of how informative each expert is and how their information content may vary by type of review. More importantly, our overall measure of expert opinion weights the opinion of each expert based on how informative they are at the particular quality level of the product being evaluated. In other words, we provide consumers with a method that reconciles conflicting expert opinions into a summary measure. The second issue we investigate in this paper is the meaning of “silence” in expert opinions. Our model demonstrates that the fact that an expert is silent about a product may imply a positive or a negative review, depending on the expert. We use data from the motion pictures industry to illustrate our approach. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2006

Suggested Citation

  • Wagner Kamakura & Suman Basuroy & Peter Boatwright, 2006. "Is silence golden? An inquiry into the meaning of silence in professional product evaluations," Quantitative Marketing and Economics (QME), Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 119-141, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:qmktec:v:4:y:2006:i:2:p:119-141 DOI: 10.1007/s11129-006-3181-x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Harvey, Nigel & Harries, Clare & Fischer, Ilan, 2000. "Using Advice and Assessing Its Quality," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 252-273, March.
    2. West, Patricia M & Broniarczyk, Susan M, 1998. " Integrating Multiple Opinions: The Role of Aspiration Level on Consumer Response to Critic Consensus," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(1), pages 38-51, June.
    3. Michaely, Roni & Womack, Kent L, 1999. "Conflict of Interest and the Credibility of Underwriter Analyst Recommendations," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 12(4), pages 653-686.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Fowdur, Lona & Kadiyali, Vrinda & Prince, Jeffrey, 2012. "Racial bias in expert quality assessment: A study of newspaper movie reviews," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 292-307.
    2. Marco Caliendo & Michel Clement & Edlira Shehu, 2015. "The effect of individual professional critics on books’ sales: capturing selection biases from observable and unobservable factors," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 26(4), pages 423-436, December.
    3. repec:spr:grdene:v:21:y:2012:i:3:d:10.1007_s10726-010-9211-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Natalia Gmerek, 2015. "The determinants of Polish movies’ box office performance in Poland," Journal of Marketing and Consumer Behaviour in Emerging Markets, University of Warsaw, Faculty of Management, vol. 1(1), pages 15-35.

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