Differential effects of analytical versus emotional rhetorical style on review helpfulness

Masoud Moradi, Mayukh Dass, Piyush Kumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper examines the interaction effect of analytical versus emotional rhetorical styles and overall ratings on the perceived helpfulness of product reviews on an e-commerce platform. Hypotheses derived from signaling theory regarding the nonlinear and interactive effects of these variables are tested using a zero-inflated negative binomial model with fixed effects. The results from the estimation of the model using a large sample of reviews from a hedonic and a utilitarian category suggest that analytical and emotional rhetorical devices have mutually opposing effects on helpfulness. While an analytical writing style increases the number of helpfulness votes a review receives, both positive and negative emotional tones reduce it. Further, readers perceive polarized ratings as more helpful, and an analytical style strengthens this effect while an emotional style weakens it. The results are consistent with signaling theory and suggest that an objective and analytical style serves as a strong signal about unobserved quality while an emotional style conflicts with the quality signal and reduces a review's helpfulness.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113361
JournalJournal of Business Research
Volume154
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2023

Keywords

  • Analytical Language Style
  • Emotions
  • Negative Binomial Regression
  • Negative Tone
  • Positive Tone
  • Review Extremity
  • Review Helpfulness
  • Review Rating
  • Sentiment Analysis
  • Text Mining

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