June 21, 2018

Why you can’t really trust negative online reviews


Research suggests that people heed negative reviews more than positive ones - despite their questionable credibility

Marketing data indicates that negative reviews in particular dramatically influence our buying behaviors. But research on the biases and demographics of online reviewers - and our own, often errant interpretations - suggests that our faith in reviews is misguided.

There are many more positive reviews online than there are negative ones, studies show, which creates a scarcity of negative reviews that we associate with value.

We also think of negative reviews as windows into what could go wrong. Duncan Simester, a marketing professor at the M.I.T. Sloan School of Management, pointed out that people may see negative reviews as more informative, and therefore more valuable, than positive ones because they highlight defects - even if they’re not actually more accurate.

Get the full story at The New York Times