Exaggeration in Fake vs. Authentic Online Reviews for Luxury and Budget Hotels

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Fake online reviews are commonly assumed to be more exaggerated than authentic ones. The assumption has however not been empirically confirmed in different contexts. Therefore, this paper investigates (1) the actual dose of exaggeration, and (2) individuals’ perception of exaggeration in authentic and fake reviews as a function of hotel category (luxury vs. budget) as well as review polarity (positive vs. negative). Two studies were conducted. Study 1 examined actual exaggeration through a text analysis of authentic and fake reviews. Fake reviews did not always emerge as being more exaggerated than authentic ones. Study 2 examined individuals’ perception through a 2 (hotel category: luxury, budget) x 2 (review polarity: positive, negative) online experiment. It showed that the extent to which perceived exaggeration could explain perceived authenticity of reviews was dependent on the category of hotels and the polarity of reviews at stake.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102416
Number of pages11
JournalInternational journal of information management
Early online date6 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2022

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  • authenticity
  • exaggeration
  • fake review
  • hotel review
  • online review
  • user perception

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