ECIS 2020 Research Papers


While negativity bias has been observed across many contexts, the consensus regarding its presence in the effects of electronic word of mouth (eWoM) reviews on consumers’ judgments is equivocal. Despite this equivocality, there has been a limited attempt to identify the conditions and the pertinent factors that alter the negativity bias in the effects of eWoM reviews. To address this gap, the objective of this paper is to assess the influence of negativity bias in the effects of eWoM reviews on consumers’ attitudes toward using online services at the pre-usage stage. Drawing upon the elaboration likelihood model and the extant literature on the negativity bias, we conduct a controlled lab experiment with a full factorial design to test the role of two contingency on the negativity bias in the effects of eWoM reviews at the pre-usage stage of online service adoption: consumers’ prior experience with the online service domain and consumers’ level of need for cognition. Our findings provide a novel explanation for the inconsistent findings in the literature and can help online service providers devise more effective strategies to manage the effects of negative eWoM reviews on consumers’ judgments.



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