Two Types of Language Bias in Word of Mouth

Gaby Schellekens, Erasmus University, The Netherlands
Peeter Verlegh, Erasmus University, The Netherlands
Ale Smidts, Erasmus University, The Netherlands
In several studies we investigate the biased use of language abstraction in word of mouth. First, a linguistic expectancy bias in word of mouth is demonstrated, where expectancy congruent product information is communicated more abstractly than expectancy incongruent information. This finding is replicated with existing (rather than fictitious) brand attitudes, and in an open response format. Our final study demonstrates a second variant of this linguistic bias, in which consumers bias linguistic behavior to match the product attitudes that are held by the receiver of the word-of-mouth communication.
[ to cite ]:
Gaby Schellekens, Peeter Verlegh, and Ale Smidts (2009) ,"Two Types of Language Bias in Word of Mouth", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 544-545.