(ORDO NEWS) — Not all reviews posted on the Internet are written honestly and frankly, and “custom” reviews that people are asked to write are a common occurrence.
However, if there are usually no problems with positive or neutral reviews, then it is much more difficult for people to scold a hotel where they have never stayed, or a movie that they have not watched.
Online advertising is a powerful business driver: when shopping online or preparing to book a hotel, people inevitably pay attention to the overall rating and reviews of people who have made a purchase or used a service before them.
And if at least a couple of negative ones come across among the many positive reviews, telling about the eternal breakdowns of the vacuum cleaner or cockroaches behind the wallpaper, the desire to make a purchase may decline or even disappear.
Not surprisingly, “custom” reviews are widespread, which people write not because they want to express their opinion, but for some kind of reward or at the request of other people.
Such reviews can be both positive and negative: the first ones are needed to raise the rating and attract new customers, the second ones are often used in the fight against competitors.
To study the psychology of people who write such reviews, researchers from the UK and Singapore asked 50 people to write fake hotel reviews in a positive, negative or neutral tone.
After that, they analyzed the received texts and noted in some of the negative reviews signs that the person was feeling guilty.
Thus, if the authors of positive reviews freely used the personal pronoun “I”, describing an imaginary pleasant experience, then the authors of negative reviews more often wrote the collective pronoun “we”, as if sharing the responsibility for lying with imaginary people.
Also, in negative reviews, people “pressed on emotions” by using more affective words, while positive reviews were more often emotionally neutral.
Today there is no reliable way to detect fake reviews on the Internet: if some of them literally “scream” about it (like positive reviews under the next mobile game that “allows you to earn real money”), then others look quite convincing.
Even with the help of AI, it is sometimes impossible to understand whether a person was sincere in writing a review or not, so when evaluating a new product or place to stay, it is worth remembering that not all “stars” can be honestly deserved.
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