Effect of Online Review Chunking on Product Attitude: The Moderating Role of Motivation to Think

Jun Pang and Lingyun Qiu
International Journal of Electronic Commerce,
Volume 20, Number 3, Spring 2016, pp. 355-383.


Online reviews are an important source of product information that influences consumers’ product attitude and purchase behavior. This research proposes review chunking, that is, grouping reviews by valence, as a newly recognized factor that influences the persuasive effect of online reviews. In particular, this study examines the differential effects of review chunking on product attitude for consumers with high versus low motivation to think. The results from two experiments show that for consumers with low motivation to think, review chunking has a negative effect on product attitude. For consumers with high motivation to think, the effect of review chunking depends on whether they read positive or negative reviews first. These findings extend our understanding of the factors that influence the persuasiveness of online reviews and provide practical implications to online retailers on how to influence consumers’ product attitude by changing the default criteria of the sorting and filtering aids on their online review systems.

Key Words and Phrases: eWOM, information chunking, motivation to think, online reviews, product attitude, review recall, review valence.