When Will People Tell You Something You Do Not Know? the Exchange of Unique Informational in Word-Of-Mouth Communication

Lei Huang, Dalhousie University, Canada
Sema Barlas, McGill University, Canada
This article demonstrates that the flow and the impact of word-of-mouth (WOM) information are influenced by informational-ties among members (e.g., whether members share common knowledge or hold unique information on the topic of conversations). Although common information is generally over-sampled for conversations, this bias is inflated when the common information is emotional in nature and when members are similar with respect to interests or goals. Most importantly, uniquely held emotional information is exchanged more often than cognitive common information. As a result of these biases in information exchange, choices of WOM members herd into pleasurable but commonly known options compared with choices of individuals who do not engage in WOM.
[ to cite ]:
Lei Huang and Sema Barlas (2009) ,"When Will People Tell You Something You Do Not Know? the Exchange of Unique Informational in Word-Of-Mouth Communication", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 761-762.