Online Reviews, Helpfulness Ratings, and Consumer Attitudes: An Extension of Congruity Theory to Multiple Sources in Web 2.0

Joseph B. Walther, Y. Liang, Tina Ganster, Donghee Yvette Wohn, Josh Emington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations

Abstract

In online shopping, users may contribute reviews that are subject to overt evaluations from other users' helpfulness ratings. Still other users may provide comments indicating agreement or disagreement with the original reviewer. This research modified congruity theory (Osgood & Tannenbaum, 1955) to predict effects on attitudes of readers who observe contributions from three potential sources of influence: review valence, other users' aggregated helpfulness rating of the review, and another user's verbal agreement or disagreement with the review. Results supported the hypothesized interaction effect among the 3 factors affecting attitudes toward a product, toward reviewers, and commenters. The findings suggest that congruity theory provides a framework for understanding effects from a juxtaposition of sources and messages within a participatory Web system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-112
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Computer-Mediated Communication
Volume18
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2012
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications

Keywords

  • Congruity theory
  • Helpfulness Ratings
  • Online Reviews
  • User-generated content

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