The Evolution of New Product Rumors in Online Customer Communities: Social Identity Or Social Impact?

Scott A. Thompson, Arizona State University
James C. Ward, Arizona State University
This study examines how new product rumors spread and change over time and between groups of consumers. Two theories of intergroup communication are examined. Social Identity Theory suggests that the process will be governed by a competitive intergroup dynamic which will lead to new product rumors diverging between rival consumer groups. Dynamic Social Impact Theory, on the other hand, emphasizes the role of reciprocal influence between individuals over time. Based on this perspective, similar product rumors should develop and diffuse between rival consumer groups. The results of the study provide a theoretical foundation for understanding how new product rumors spread.
[ to cite ]:
Scott A. Thompson and James C. Ward (2008) ,"The Evolution of New Product Rumors in Online Customer Communities: Social Identity Or Social Impact?", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds. Angela Y. Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 756-757.