Extremely Negative Ratings and Online Consumer Review Helpfulness: The Moderating Role of Product Quality Signals


  • Filieri Raffaele
  • Raguseo Elisabetta
  • Vitari Claudio

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Contrasting findings about the role of extremely negative ratings (ENRR) are found in the literature, thus suggesting that not all ENRR are perceived as helpful by consumers. In order to shed light on the most helpful ENRR, we have drawn on negativity bias and signaling theory, and we have analyzed the moderating role of product quality signals in the relationship between ENRR and review helpfulness. The study is based on the analysis of 9,479 online reviews, posted on TripAdvisor.com, pertaining to 220 French hotels. The findings highlight that ENRR is judged as being more helpful when the hotel has been awarded a certificate of excellence, and when the average rating score and the hotel classification are higher. On the basis of these results, we recommend that managers of higher category hotels, with a certificate of excellence and with higher average score ratings, pay more attention to extremely negative judgments.

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