How mindsets influence the effects of valence of online reviews

Dipanwita Bhattacharjee, Mark T. Spence

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

Online reviews have become increasingly influential among today’s consumers due to their high reach and ubiquitous presence (see Zablocki, Schlegelmilch, and Houston 2019 for a review). Valence or average star rating is a key element of online reviews (Purnawirawan et al. 2015). Extant literature has demonstrated the effects of online review attributes, such as valence, on product sales (Floyd et al. 2014) or purchase intentions (Jiménez and Mendoza 2013). However, Zablocki, Schlegelmilch, and Houston (2019) note that there are mixed findings in the literature regarding whether positive reviews or negative reviews are more influential in terms of effects on consumer attitudes and behavior. Absent from current discourse is the influence of individual differences in relation to the effectiveness of the valence of online reviews. This research gap is addressed in the current study.
Our research examines how mindsets (Dweck 1999) affect the processing of the valence of online reviews and how this subsequently affects consumer attitudes. Prior work on mindsets has suggested that growth mindset individuals process information differently from those with fixed mindsets (Dweck 1999). Moreover, research shows that online review effectiveness may vary depending on product type, e.g. search vs. experience products (Purnawirawan et al. 2015). Considering these findings, we investigated whether the effects of the valence of online reviews on product attitudes was moderated by mindset and product type. An experiment with a 2 (two levels of valence) X 2 (two types of products) between subject design was conducted where participants’ mindset was also measured. 252 participants were recruited through an online consumer panel affiliated with Qualtrics.
Participants were randomly assigned to one of the four conditions and viewed a mock webpage for a hotel or a suitcase which included online reviews and valence ratings. The apartment (or suitcase) with positive valence had a rating of 4.8 while, the apartment (or suitcase) with negative (less positive) valence had a rating of 3.1. Volume of online reviews and price were held constant across all conditions.
Mindset was measured using a four-item scale, where higher scores indicate a growth mindset (Midkiff, Demetriou, and Panter 2018). We conducted the analysis using the PROCESS macro (Model 3) in SPSS (Hayes, 2017). The independent variable was valence of online reviews, while product attitude (measured with a three-item scale) was the dependent variable. Both mindset and product type were moderators in the model. We added online review familiarity, online review importance, age, and gender as covariates. Results showed a three-way interaction among valence, growth mindset, and product type (p < .05). Specifically, a two-way interaction between valence and growth mindset is evident in the case of an experience product (holiday apartment, p < .05). For experience products (holiday apartment), as growth mindset increases, the beneficial effect of the positive valence of online reviews on product attitudes decreases.
The research offers valuable theoretical and practical insights. Understanding how the valence of online reviews is evaluated by individuals having growth mindsets will help address some of the ambiguous research findings mentioned above. Moreover, our research contributes to the existing search vs experience product literature by showing that online review valence has differential effects for experience products. Retailers will gain useful insights regarding how online reviews work for different product types when evaluated by growth mindset oriented individuals. This will help in developing targeting strategies.
References
Dweck, Carol S. (1999), Self-Theories: Their Role in Motivation, Personality and Development. Philadelphia: Taylor and Francis/Psychology Press.
Floyd, Kristopher, Ryan Freling, Saad Alhoqail, Hyun Young Cho, and Traci Freling (2014), "How Online Product Reviews Affect Retail Sales: A Meta-Analysis," Journal of Retailing, 90 (2), 217-32.
Hayes, Andrew F. (2017), Introduction to Mediation, Moderation, and Conditional Process Analysis: A Regression-Based Approach, 2nd Ed., New York: The Guilford Press.
Jiménez, Fernando R., and Norma A. Mendoza (2013), “Too Popular to Ignore,” Journal of Interactive Marketing, 27 (3), 226-35.
Levy, Sheri R., Steven J. Stroessner, and Carol S. Dweck (1998), “Stereotype Formation and Endorsement: The Role of Implicit Theories,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74 (6), 1421-36.
Midkiff, Brooke, Michelle Langer, Cynthia Demetriou, and A. T. Panter (2017), “An IR Analysis of The Growth Mindset Scale”, in Quantitative Psychology: The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Psychometric Society, M. Wiberg, S. Culpepper, R. Janssen, J. González, and D. Molenaar, eds., Cham, Switzerland: Springer, 163-174.
Purnawirawan, Nathalia, Martin Eisend, Patrick De Pelsmacker, and Nathalie Dens (2015), “A Meta-Analytic Investigation of the Role of Valence in Online Reviews,” Journal of Interactive Marketing, 31, 17-27.
Zablocki, Agnieszka, Bodo Schlegelmilch, and Michael J. Houston (2019), "How Valence, Volume and Variance of Online Reviews Influence Brand Attitudes," AMS Review, 9, 61-77.
Original languageEnglish
Pages3-4
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 2022
EventProceedings of the 49th ACME Annual Meeting of the Association of Collegiate Marketing Educators - Hilton, New Orleans, United States
Duration: 2 Mar 20225 Mar 2022
Conference number: 49th
https://acme-fbd.org/ (ACME Annual conference website)

Conference

ConferenceProceedings of the 49th ACME Annual Meeting of the Association of Collegiate Marketing Educators
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew Orleans
Period2/03/225/03/22
Internet address

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