When profile photos matter: the roles of reviewer profile photos in the online review generation and consumption processes
Purpose: Many online review sites, such as TripAdivisor.com, encourage review posters to upload a profile photo to improve the perceived reliability of online reviews. This study aims to examine the roles of reviewer profile photos in the online review generation and consumption processes. Design/methodology/approach: Data were collected via Amazon MTurk. Two experimental studies were conducted. Study 1 had a sample size of 106 respondents. In Study 1, this paper examined the role of a reviewer profile photo in the online review generation process. Study 2 had a sample size of 482 respondents. In Study 2, this paper examined the role of a reviewer profile photo in the online review consumption process under two different circumstances, namely, comprehensive and incomprehensive review text. Findings: The findings show that reviewer profile photos play different roles when consumers generate online reviews versus when they consume reviews. In the review generation process, reviewers are more likely to upload a profile photo to improve the credibility of their reviews. On the other hand, in the review consumption process, reviewer profile photos do not contribute to an increase in the perceived review helpfulness. Originality/value: If the readers have difficulty processing the review content, review profile photos play a critical role in determining perceived review helpfulness. This study provides both theoretical and managerial implications by indicating how reviewer profile photos play different roles in online review posting and consuming behavior.
Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing
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Kim, Jong Min; Kim, Miyea; and Key, Sookyoung, "When profile photos matter: the roles of reviewer profile photos in the online review generation and consumption processes" (2020). Kean Publications. 1149.