When the Stars Shine Too Bright: The Influence of Multidimensional Ratings on Online Consumer Ratings

Management Science, Forthcoming

IESE Business School Working Paper No. 74966

64 Pages Posted: 19 May 2020

See all articles by Christoph Schneider

Christoph Schneider

University of Navarra, IESE Business School

Markus Weinmann

University of Cologne; Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)

Peter Mohr

Free University of Berlin (FUB)

Jan vom Brocke

University of Liechtenstein

Date Written: March 18, 2020

Abstract

Scholars generally assume that consumer ratings reflect consumer satisfaction, but ratings can be influenced by the design of the rating system. We examine two rating designs — single-dimensional (SD) rating systems, which elicit overall ratings only, and multidimensional (MD) rating systems, which elicit both dimensional and overall ratings — and how they impact overall ratings. Drawing on the accessibility-diagnosticity framework, we argue that dimensional ratings in MD systems influence overall ratings based on how the dimensions have been rated. We support this explanation with seven experiments. Our results suggest that overall ratings are systematically influenced by the design of the rating system — across various experimental settings, rating objects, dimensions, and numbers of dimensions.

Keywords: online ratings, biases, accessibility-diagnosticity framework, experiments

Suggested Citation

Schneider, Christoph and Weinmann, Markus and Mohr, Peter and vom Brocke, Jan, When the Stars Shine Too Bright: The Influence of Multidimensional Ratings on Online Consumer Ratings (March 18, 2020). Management Science, Forthcoming, IESE Business School Working Paper No. 74966, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3572654

Christoph Schneider

University of Navarra, IESE Business School ( email )

Avenida Pearson 21
Barcelona, 08034
Spain

Markus Weinmann (Contact Author)

University of Cologne ( email )

Albertus-Magnus-Platz
Cologne, 50923
Germany

Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

Peter Mohr

Free University of Berlin (FUB) ( email )

Jan Vom Brocke

University of Liechtenstein ( email )

Fürst Franz Josef Strasse
Vaduz, 9490
Liechtenstein

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