The effect of fluency on review helpfulness: Does it depend on perspective-taking?

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Conference Proceeding

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In this paper, we propose to explore the effects of fluency and perspective-taking on the perceived helpfulness of online product reviews. Past research has suggested that fluency, or ease of information processing, can be used as information when individuals are making various judgments. For example, fluency increases liking. Thus, we predict that fluency can influence perceptions of review helpfulness. Moreover, researchers have found that social distance, or the distinction between self and other, can affect judgment. Specifically, taking other-perspective can reduce feelings in response to disfluency. Therefore, we further predict that a review presented in fluent information will be perceived as more helpful than one in disfluent information when individuals consider a product for themselves, but not when they imagine that another person will purchase the product. To test the theoretical model proposed, we will present a book review in easy- and hard-to-read fonts in Study 1, and prepare another review in high- and low-contrast texts in Study 2. Participants will be instructed to take self- or otherperspective when rating review helpfulness. Our results will indicate the important roles of fluency and perspective-taking in consumer evaluation of online product reviews and provide implications for consumers and online retailers.

Publication Title

Pacific Asia Conference on Information Systems, PACIS 2016 - Proceedings

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