The Persuasion Context and Results in Online Opinion Seeking: Effects of Message and Source-The Moderating Role of Network Managers

Cabezudo, Rebeca San José; Izquierdo, Carmen Camarero; Pinto, Javier Rodríguez
November 2013
CyberPsychology, Behavior & Social Networking;Nov2013, Vol. 16 Issue 11, p828
Academic Journal
Online opinion networks are areas for social exchange, or conversational networks, made up of individuals actively involved in sharing experiences and opinions concerning matters of mutual interest between consumers or concerning their experience with a given product or service. We pinpoint a gap in the literature regarding how the persuasion process occurs when individuals seek opinions online, including the results process. In an attempt to find an answer, we draw on traditional theories related to information processing. These are mostly taken from the field of psychology and enable us to identify which signals or aspects of communication or opinions the individuals focus their attention on (message and source) and the value attached to such communications as well as how much they impact individuals' purchase decisions, bearing in mind the medium (or online opinion network) in which the opinions are located. Findings from those interviewed support the idea that the quality of information on the Internet, as well as trust in the source of said information, or in the opinion of network users, have an impact on the informational value obtained from involvement in this online opinion seeking and on purchasing decisions. Moreover, depending on the kind of network (firm or brand controlled, review Web sites, and user-controlled nonofficial opinion networks), the quality of the information or trust in the users will have a different bearing in the persuasion process.


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