Exploring the behavioral drivers of review valence

Panagiotis Stamolampros (Norwich Business School, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK)
Nikolaos Korfiatis (Norwich Business School, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Publication date: 8 October 2018



Although the literature has established the effect of online reviews on customer purchase intentions, the influence of psychological factors on online ratings is overlooked. This paper aims to examine these factors under the perspective of construal level theory (CLT).


Using review data from TripAdvisor and Booking.com, the authors study three dimensions of psychological distances (temporal, spatial and social) and their direct and interaction effects on review valence, using regression analysis. The authors examine the effect of these distances on the information content of online reviews using a novel bag-of-words model to assess its concreteness.


Temporal distance and spatial distance have positive direct effects on review valence. Social distance, on the other hand, has a negative direct effect. However, its interaction with the other two distances has a positive effect, suggesting that consumers tend to “zoom-out” to less concrete things in their ratings.

Practical implications

The findings provide implications for the interpretation of review ratings by the service providers and their information content.


This study extends the CLT and electronic word-of-mouth literature by jointly exploring the effect of all three psychological distances that are applicable in post-purchase evaluations. Methodologically, it provides a novel application of the bag-of-words model in evaluating the concreteness of online reviews.



Stamolampros, P. and Korfiatis, N. (2018), "Exploring the behavioral drivers of review valence", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 30 No. 10, pp. 3083-3099. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-04-2017-0239

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