Document Type

Work in Progress


Online reviews have drawn the attention of the MIS community. According to a survey conducted by an e-tailing group, 63% of consumers repeatedly collect product information online before making purchases. Half of them spend at least 10 minutes searching for product information. Similarity, airline passengers should read reviews before booking tickets, because the outcome of taking a plane with an unknown airline cannot be anticipated by inexperienced passengers. However, we have little information about why passengers interact with these reviews differently. Long searches are especially likely for popular air routes or airlines, where passengers often face information overload. Passengers may also give more weight to negative reviews and reviews written by someone with strong social tie or similar background with them. In addition, they may give the most weight to the reviews they read first. Thus, we want to know (a) does the order in which reviews are read matter and (b) does the reviewer’s background matter? If they do matter, how? The current study designs an experimental flying review website, using the concepts of “consumer affinity” and “review arrangement”. We aim to explore the best way for passengers understanding the performance of the airline, saving their cognitive efforts to process reviews, and provoking their receptions of social presence.