American Sociological Association

Conspicuous Reviewing: Affiliation with High-status Organizations as a Motivation for Writing Online Reviews

The vast amount of reviews available online presents a paradox: Why do reviewers spend hours writing them? Here we demonstrate in three studies that one reason people write online reviews is to bolster their public identity by conspicuously affiliating with high-status products or organizations. First, we conducted a set of surveys and found that participants are more likely to post online reviews of restaurants that are higher status, controlling for their familiarity and liking of the restaurant. Second, we found that individual differences in status consumption motivation predicted increased desire to post reviews. Third, we conducted an experiment and found that participants were more likely to review the higher versus lower status restaurant.


Balázs Kovács and Suzanne Horwitz



Starting Page


Ending Page