Asymmetric effects of online consumer reviews

Sangwon Park, Juan L. Nicolau

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

248 Citations (Scopus)


Consumers tend to seek heuristic information cues to simplify the amount of information involved in tourist decisions. Accordingly, star ratings in online reviews are a critical heuristic element of the perceived evaluation of online consumer information. The objective of this article is to assess the effect of review ratings on usefulness and enjoyment. The empirical application is carried out on a sample of 5,090 reviews of 45 restaurants in London and New York. The results show that people perceive extreme ratings (positive or negative) as more useful and enjoyable than moderate ratings, giving rise to a U-shaped line, with asymmetric effects: the size of the effect of online reviews depends on whether they are positive or negative.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-83
Number of pages17
JournalAnnals of Tourism Research
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Asymmetrical effects
  • Count model
  • Heuristics
  • Online review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

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