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Title: Do people believe electronic word-of-mouth? : a study on factors affecting readers' perceived credibility of online consumer reviews
Other Titles: Ni shi fou xiang xin dian zi kou bei? : yi ge guan yu wang shang xiao fei zhe ping lun zhi ke xin xing yan jiu
你是否相信電子口碑? : 一個關於網上消費者評論之可信性研究
Authors: Cheung, Man Yee (張文兒)
Department: Dept. of Information Systems
Degree: Master of Philosophy
Issue Date: 2006
Publisher: City University of Hong Kong
Subjects: Consumer behavior
Electronic discussion groups
Notes: CityU Call Number: ZA4480.C45 2006
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 136-146)
Thesis (M.Phil.)--City University of Hong Kong, 2006
viii, 174 leaves : col. ill. ; 30 cm.
Type: Thesis
Abstract: Online consumer reviews, so-called electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM), has become an imperative source for people to gather product information. Oppose to traditional WOM, online reviewers are usually unknown to readers who may experience difficulty in assessing the reviewer’s reliability, question the reviewer’s real purpose and the objectivity of the comments. Are the reviewers being honest? Are the reviewers giving biased product feedback? Or, are the reviewers hired or rewarded by marketers in order to provide positive reviews? In other words, readers are always concern about the credibility of a review. In this research, I will answer the question – how readers determine the credibility of online reviews – by sharing prior communications literatures, examining traditional WOM factors and find out how these factors are related to the electronic environment. To better understand the factors that affect reader’s confidence on the credibility of online reviews, normative dimensions are extended from the traditional WOM model based on the lens of dual process theory. In addition, Elaboration Likelihood Model is integrated to consider the process influence of review evaluation. A preliminary interview was conducted to find out a general understand of readers’ perception towards online reviews. The effect of a review on a reader is determined by its perceived credibility. Consumption behaviors such as product awareness, belief, attitude, buying intention and the actual purchase decision will subsequently be influenced. Based on the results of the interview, a research model was tested using an online survey that was distributed to users of a famous online review site ( The results of this survey indicate that a reviewer’s reputed credibility, review quality, review sidedness, review consistency and review rating are good predictors of the perceived review credibility. The effects of reputed credibility and review consistency are moderated by reader’s involvement level while that of review sidedness and review rating are moderated by both receiver’s involvement and his expertise level. The results from the interview and the online survey entail both theoretical and practical implications. A fundamental framework is built to study online reviews from the reader’s perspective. This framework will help the review site developers to improve their site designs and better manage the review site.
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Appears in Collections:IS - Master of Philosophy

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