Does source matter? Examining source effects in online product reviews

Xue Dou, Justin A. Walden, Seoyeon Lee, Ji Young Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

140 Citations (Scopus)


Drawing on the literature about online source classification, source credibility, and attribution theory, this study examines how the source of a product review influences people's product judgments. Results from a between-subjects experiment suggest that the perceived source of a message (the visible source) impacts how people evaluate actual reviewer (the original source) and product. Reviews made by regular Internet users (visible sources) lead to greater trust in the actual reviewer (the original source), compared to product reviews from product makers. Results further indicate that visible sources play a crucial role in helping people judge the credibility of online reviews. Particularly, the identity of a visible source is used to consider the intention of original source of the message, which in turn determines message persuasiveness. The authors conclude that evaluating the intentions of online reviewers is a critical antecedent to forming opinions about online reviews and products.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1555-1563
Number of pages9
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Sept


  • Online product reviews
  • Source credibility
  • User generated content
  • YouTube
  • eWOM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Psychology(all)


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