Researchers examine on-line ‘pseudo-reviews’ that mock merchandise

Researchers examine on-line ‘pseudo-reviews’ that mock merchandise

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The recognition of buying items and companies by means of on-line retailers akin to Amazon continues to extend, making it overwhelming for customers to distinguish reality from fiction in on-line product and repair evaluations. Due to the newest analysis from professors at UA, customers, in addition to entrepreneurs, can higher determine and perceive the impression of exaggerated or phony on-line evaluations, serving to them to make extra knowledgeable choices.

Affiliate Professor Dr. Federico de Gregorio and Assistant Professor Dr. Alexa Okay. Fox in UA’s Division of Advertising and marketing, together with Affiliate Professor Dr. Hye Jin Yoon within the College of Georgia’s Division of Promoting and Public Relations, are the primary to conceptualize and examine the consequences of a brand new sort of on-line user-generated content material referred to as pseudo-reviews.

The content material of a pseudo-review usually resembles genuine evaluations on the floor, purporting to inform a narrative about product use. Nevertheless, whereas genuine evaluations usually could embrace humor as a stylistic system to convey a real product analysis, pseudo-reviews use humor sometimes to mock some product facet.

Person pseudo-review on Amazon.com a few 105-inch, 4K, $120,000 Samsung TV:

“I used to be in a position to buy this superb tv with an FHA mortgage (30 12 months fixed-rate w/ 4.25% APR) and solely 3.5% down. That is, fingers down, one of the best determination I’ve ever made. And the field it got here in is extremely roomy too, which is a large bonus, as a result of I dwell in it now.”

Person genuine evaluate with humor on Yelp.com a few San Francisco-area restaurant:

“How on God’s inexperienced earth is that this place nonetheless in enterprise? Drunk school children! Don’t reward unethical enterprise individuals and unhealthy customer support by coming right here. And the meals will make you curse the day you had been ever born extra so than your hangover. You may critically get higher meals dumpster diving.”

The researchers’ paper, “Pseudo-reviews: Conceptualization and Client Results of a New On-line Phenomenon,” was just lately printed in Computer systems in Human Conduct.

“Pseudo-reviews’ vs. genuine evaluations

The outcomes of two research recommend there are variations by way of customers’ perceptions of and behaviors associated to pseudo-reviews in comparison with genuine evaluations. The researchers discover that pseudo-reviews have little impact on customers’ attitudes a few product when offered individually. However when pseudo-reviews are offered along with genuine evaluations, they negatively have an effect on customers’ attitudes and buy intentions if the variety of pseudo-reviews matches the variety of genuine evaluations.

The authors conclude that too many pseudo-reviews current on a platform may very well be detrimental, even leading to customers abandoning the platform. Given how tough it may be to rapidly and effectively distinguish pseudo-reviews amongst genuine ones, it’s important that entrepreneurs, particularly these of typical merchandise which can be perceived as relatable to the common client (akin to one thing unusual as ballpoint pens) look ahead to pseudo-reviews and perceive their potential impression.

“As customers change into more and more uncovered to pseudo-reviews, our analysis helps customers perceive how pseudo-reviews may affect their notion of a product they’re contemplating,” says de Gregorio. “The outcomes present that pseudo-reviews are perceived as not very useful or reasonable. Nevertheless, regardless of this, for a ‘typical” product,” when customers see the identical variety of pseudo-reviews as genuine evaluations on the similar time, product angle is worse and buy intention is decrease. If there are extra or fewer pseudo-reviews than genuine evaluations on a web page, pseudo-reviews don’t appear to have an impact. For a product that’s perceived to be atypical or uncommon in a roundabout way, akin to a banana slicer system, pseudo-reviews don’t appear to have an impact.”

“It will be significant that customers and managers alike perceive this distinctive sort of on-line evaluate, particularly given the rising sea of user-generated content material that’s obtainable to in the present day’s customers,” provides Fox. “Whereas pseudo-reviews could not seem problematic on the floor on account of their humorous nature, certainly, they’ve the potential to be damaging to customers’ decision-making processes.”

Analysis highlights:

  • Pseudo-reviews are completely different from humorous evaluations (i.e., genuine evaluations that genuinely convey an evaluation of a product, however that occur to have some humor in them) and misleading evaluations (i.e., evaluations created by a product’s opponents or bots to simulate real evaluations). Whereas pseudo-reviews seem just like genuine evaluations, their foremost objective is to mock some facet of a product utilizing humor. Pseudo-reviews are usually perceived by customers as much less useful than genuine evaluations.
  • When offered in isolation, pseudo-reviews have little impact on product angle.
  • Offered amongst genuine evaluations, pseudo-reviews have results solely when their quantity matches the variety of genuine evaluations.
  • Offered amongst genuine evaluations, product attitudes and buy intentions are decrease when the variety of pseudo-reviews matches that of genuine evaluations.

The unusual impression of the primary client evaluate


Extra data:
Federico de Gregorio et al. Pseudo-reviews: Conceptualization and client results of a brand new on-line phenomenon, Computer systems in Human Conduct (2020). DOI: 10.1016/j.chb.2020.106545

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College of Akron

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