TITLE

Seeing Ourselves in Others: Reviewer Ambiguity, Egocentric Anchoring, and Persuasion

AUTHOR(S)
Naylor, Rebecca Walker; Lamberton, Cait Poynor; Norton, David A
PUB. DATE
June 2011
SOURCE
Journal of Marketing Research (JMR);Jun2011, Vol. 48 Issue 3, p617
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Consumers increasingly inform one another about marketplace offerings in online review forums. The authors demonstrate that when given no information about a reviewer (i.e., when the reviewer's identity is ambiguous), consumers use an accessibility-based egocentric anchor to infer that ambiguous reviewers have similar tastes to their own, leading consumers to be (1) similarly persuaded by reviews written by ambiguous and similar reviewers and (2) more persuaded by reviews written by ambiguous reviewers than by reviews written by dissimilar reviewers. The authors demonstrate that this effect holds in a single-offering, single-reviewer context. The authors also show that when consumers are exposed to multiple offerings with multiple reviewers, there may be a slight 'cost' to ambiguity as opposed to similarity but that ambiguity remains much more persuasive than dissimilarity. Finally, the authors demonstrate that the effects of egocentric anchoring on persuasion can be moderated, first, by making other-related thoughts accessible and, second, by providing external cues about potential reviewer heterogeneity. These findings have important implications for both the management and monitoring of consumer-to-consumer online communication.
ACCESSION #
60571980

 

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