Emotional disclosure through negative online reviews: A study on the impact of feedback encouragement and public commitment on consumers’ perceived unfairness
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Previous research has shown how venting one’s feelings can reduce the negative emotions of a consumption experience. This study proposes a general process of how consumers with feelings of unfairness due to a negative consumption experience can achieve emotional disclosure and reduced unfairness by posting online reviews. By using an experimental design with scenarios, this study tests how the perceived unfairness in this process is affected by the party encouraging the consumer to post an online review and the consumer’s public commitment. A student sample was divided into four groups and the perception of unfairness was compared between the groups depending on whether the party encouraging the feedback was a company perceived to be responsible for the sense of unfairness or an independent party and whether when the consumer was identifiable or anonymous to see if public commitment had an effect. Results showed that emotional disclosure was found to reduce the perceived unfairness in all groups. There was no significant difference between being encouraged by the company or independent party. Furthermore, no public commitment was in effect, even when participants’ answers were thought to become known to others. The results indicate that companies may prefer to encourage consumers to provide feedback themselves rather than using a third party and that posting online reviews will not make the consumer committed to their feeling of unfairness.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 38 p.
Emotional disclosure, fairness, unfairness, online reviews, public commitment
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-202615OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-202615DiVA: diva2:632410
Subject / course
UppsokSocial and Behavioural Science, Law
Gebert Persson, Sabine