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

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.


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.


Scott A. Thompson, Arizona State University
James C. Ward, Arizona State University


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35 | 2008

Share Proceeding

Featured papers

See More


K12. Use language to change people’s mind: The persuasive power of online marketing communications

Xun He, Katholieke University Leuven, Belgium
Barbara Briers, Vlerick Business School
Luk Warlop, Norwegian School of Management, Norway

Read More


E2. Donation versus Adoption: How the Mode of Helping Moderates the Effect of Emotions on Helping

Ziqi Shang, Renmin University of China
Xiuping Li, National University of Singapore, Singapore
aradhna krishna, University of Michigan, USA

Read More


Silencing the Call of the Sirens

Janet Schwartz, Tulane University, USA

Read More

Engage with Us

Becoming an Association for Consumer Research member is simple. Membership in ACR is relatively inexpensive, but brings significant benefits to its members.