Online Reviews: The Role of Information Load and Peripheral Factors

Lu Zhang, Luorong (Laurie) Wu, Anna S. Mattila

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


Online reviews have become one of the most influential information sources for consumer decision making. The current research aims to contribute to our understanding of the following question: When consumers are faced with multiple online reviews with mixed information, do they turn to various peripheral factors in order to form their prepurchase evaluations? This study focuses on two types of peripheral factors: motivational state and incidental cue. Results from two experimental studies suggest that information load has a dual function in influencing the effectiveness of peripheral cues, depending on which peripheral cue is used in hand. Findings of this study have important implications for social media marketers. Given distinct levels of information load (high vs. low), different types of peripheral cues should be incorporated strategically in an effort to influence consumers’ purchase intentions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)299-310
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Travel Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Transportation
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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