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EMAC 2019 Annual Conference

Finding NeWOM: Consumer attention to valenced eWOM about protective and “feel-good” products

Published: May 28, 2019


Maria Hellenthal, University of Applied Sciences Saarbrücken; Tatjana König, HTW Saar; Ramiro Joly-Mascheroni, City, University of London


Electronic word-of-mouth; eye-tracking; self-regulatory focus


Electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) is widely regarded as one of the most influential factors impacting consumer behaviour and has received much attention from academics. However, research has mostly focused on eWOM effects at the decision phase, thus ignoring its effects acting at the time of stimuli processing. Drawing on regulatory focus theory, this paper examines consumer attention using a 2(Product Type: prevention consumtion-goal vs. promotion consumtion-goal product) x 3(Review Emotion: positive vs. negative vs. neutral review) repeated measures design. Our findings revealed that participants pay more attention to negative eWOM (NeWOM) but that the strength of this effect is product-type dependent. Specifically, negative eWOM was longer fixated for products associated with a protective character than for products associated with a “feel-good” character. This suggests that consumers’ negativity bias, as a consequence of their prevention consumption-goal focus, may develop at the time of information processing.


The authors appreciate the support of their study by initial research funds of htw saar