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What Happens in Vegas Stays on TripAdvisor? A Theory and Technique to Understand Narrativity in Consumer Reviews

van Laer, T., Edson Escalas, J., Ludwig, S. and van den Hende, E. A. (2018). What Happens in Vegas Stays on TripAdvisor? A Theory and Technique to Understand Narrativity in Consumer Reviews. Journal of Consumer Research, doi: 10.1093/jcr/ucy067

Abstract

Many consumers base their purchase decisions on online consumer reviews. An overlooked feature of these texts is their narrativity: the extent to which they tell a story. The authors construct a new theory of narrativity to link the narrative content and discourse of consumer reviews to consumer behavior. They also develop from scratch a computerized technique that reliably determines the degree of narrativity of 190,461 verbatim, online consumer reviews and validate the automated text analysis with two controlled experiments. More transporting (i.e., engaging) and persuasive reviews have better developed characters and events as well as more emotionally changing genres and dramatic event orders. This interdisciplinary, multimethod research should help future researchers (1) predict how narrativity affects consumers’ narrative transportation and persuasion, (2) measure the narrativity of large digital corpora of textual data, and (3) understand how this important linguistic feature varies along a continuum.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in Journal of Consumer Research following peer review. The version of record van Laer, T., Edson Escalas, J., Ludwig, S. and van den Hende, E. A. (2018). What Happens in Vegas Stays on TripAdvisor? A Theory and Technique to Understand Narrativity in Consumer Reviews. Journal of Consumer Research, is available online at: https://doi.org/10.1093/jcr/ucy067.
Publisher Keywords: automated text analysis; computational linguistics; consumer reviews; narrative transportation; storytelling
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
P Language and Literature
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Departments: Cass Business School > Management
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/20567
[img] Text - Accepted Version
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