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Posting And Lurking: Communication On A Product Rating Website

Date:
July 25, 2005
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
In the ever growing use of the Internet as a place to communicate with others asynchronously, the ability to rate products or learn about other consumers' experiences with a product that you are considering has become an important tool for consumers. An article in the September 2005 issue of the Journal of Consumer Research investigates further into this play between posters and lurkers. The research reveals that posters' negative opinions drop even further in the midst of other negative reviews.

Website posters post. Lurkers lurk. Sometimes a poster becomes a lurker or a lurker turns into a poster. You can't be both at the same time--but you can switch around as you like. In the ever growing use of the Internet as a place to communicate with others asynchronously, the ability to rate products or learn about other consumers' experiences with a product that you are considering has become an important tool for consumers. An article in the September 2005 issue of the Journal of Consumer Research investigates further into this play between posters and lurkers. The research reveals that posters' negative opinions drop even further in the midst of other negative reviews.

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"It appears that reading a negative review triggers posters' concerns with the social outcomes of their public evaluations, thereby causing them to strategically lower their public ratings. In fact, this bias was limited to posters' public opinions--their private attitudes and thoughts did not differ from those of lurkers," finds Ann Schlosser (University of Washington).

Schlosser's interest in the subject stemmed from her own experience after visiting a local restaurant and then going to the website, Citysearch, to post her opinion: "How might this influence the degree to which I incorporate others' reviews into my own? Past theorizing does not fully address the types of social pressures present in online group contexts like Citysearch. When these social pressures are taken into account, a different pattern of effects is predicted and observed."

Schlosser stresses the very practical applications of this research in consumer research: "Understanding whether consumers accurately post their actual experiences is important because the transmission of product information is a significant aspect of market operations, especially when the informed are weakly tied to the uninformed."

###

Posting Versus Lurking: Communicating in a Multiple Audience Context. Ann E. Schlosser. Journal of Consumer Research. September 2005.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Chicago Press Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "Posting And Lurking: Communication On A Product Rating Website." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 July 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/07/050725115648.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2005, July 25). Posting And Lurking: Communication On A Product Rating Website. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/07/050725115648.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "Posting And Lurking: Communication On A Product Rating Website." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/07/050725115648.htm (accessed January 30, 2015).

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