AIS Transactions on Replication Research


This study is an exact replication of three studies investigating how emotional content embedded in a product review influences perceptions of review helpfulness (Yin, Bond, and Zhang 2014). The replication confirms that emotional content influences perceptions of review helpfulness. Consistent with the original study, our experimental findings indicate that the relationship between review helpfulness and the emotion embedded in a review is mediated by the perception of reviewer cognitive effort. However, this experiment found that angry as well as anxious reviews were considered helpful, deviating from the original findings in which only anxious reviews were perceived as helpful. Further, examination of a large sample of reviews confirms that reviews with anxious content are rated as more helpful, while angry content does not influence helpfulness. However, we were unable to replicate the findings of the second experiment reported in the original research as neither anxious nor angry reviews were considered helpful in our second study. It may be that, at this time, reviews with high levels of emotional content are not perceived as helpful. Instead, we found that only empathy (perceptions of shared emotion with the reviewer) impacted perceptions of review helpfulness. Therefore, the influence of empathy on review helpfulness may be worth investigating in future studies. That our findings deviate slightly from those of the original study provides further support for the importance of replications.





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