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Consumer skepticism and online reviews: An Elaboration Likelihood Model perspective

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Online consumers vary in their tendency to believe or disbelieve online reviews. Based on an Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM; Petty & Cacioppo, 1981, 1986), the present study tested the effects of consumer skepticism on online consumers. A total of 278 undergraduates expressed their attitudes about a product in an online experiment. Two findings emerged from the results. First, highly skeptical consumers tend to base their attitudes on intrinsic beliefs instead of situational factors; that is, they are biased against certain types of information and indifferent to the message quality. Second, consumers with low skepticism tend to adopt the peripheral route in forming attitude; that is, they are more persuaded by review quantity. These findings contribute to the ELM research literature by considering a potentially important personality factor in the ELM framework. Managerial implications are suggested.
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Keywords: ATTITUDE; ELABORATION LIKELIHOOD MODEL; ONLINE REVIEW; SKEPTICISM

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-02-01

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