When empathy prevents negative reviewing behavior

Rebecca Pera, Giampaolo Viglia, Laura Grazzini , Daniele Dalli

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    Previous research has found that peer-to-peer platforms have overly positive reviews. Guided by Construal Level Theory, this research investigates the relationship between social distance, empathy, and tourists’ intention to leave negative online reviews. The first study is a qualitative analysis which compares peer-to-peer settings (i.e., Airbnb) to institutional ones (i.e., Booking.com), and explores whether social closeness hinders tourists’ willingness to provide negative online reviews to express their poor experiences. The second and third study are laboratory studies which show that the mechanism behind reviewing biases is the activation of empathy.

    This research offers practical implications for both traditional hospitality players, on how to activate empathy, and online platforms operators, on how to increase the reliability of their reputation systems.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)265-278
    JournalAnnals of Tourism Research
    Early online date22 Mar 2019
    Publication statusPublished - 22 Mar 2019


    • online reviews
    • social distance
    • empathy
    • reviewing behavior
    • sharing economy


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