Using Reviews to Determine Preferences: How Variance in Customer-Generated Reviews Affects Choice

Elizabeth C. Webb, Columbia University, USA
Itamar Simonson, Stanford University, USA
In a series of experiments, we show that observed customer review variance moderates susceptibility to several choice effects. In particular, more dispersed customer-generated reviews promote more risky choices, including choosing less variety, avoiding compromises, and making rather than deferring purchase decisions. We provide evidence for the mechanism underlying these effects.
[ to cite ]:
Elizabeth C. Webb and Itamar Simonson (2017) ,"Using Reviews to Determine Preferences: How Variance in Customer-Generated Reviews Affects Choice", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 45, eds. Ayelet Gneezy, Vladas Griskevicius, and Patti Williams, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 302-306.