Who Beats What

We choose many products mainly as a way to affiliate with its other customers – we often care more about this affiliation than about personally enjoying the product! My evidence for this outrageous claim? Reading a negative online review by a high status person makes us more likely to buy the product:

In our recent … paper “Towards a Theory Model for Product Search”, we noticed that demand for a hotel increases if the reviews on TripAdvisor and Travelocity are well-written, without spelling errors; this holds no matter if the review is positive or negative. In our TKDE paper “Estimating the Helpfulness and Economic Impact of Product Reviews: Mining Text and Reviewer Characteristics”, we observed similar trends for products sold and reviewed on Amazon.com. (more; HT Slate via Buck Farmer)

You might know that your mind is capable of both truth-oriented investigation and of delusory pursuit of other goals, but you might think that you can roughly tell when you are in which mode. But if you thought that a negative review makes you like a product less, well then you are more deluded than you realize.

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