Sad Cows and Empty Pockets: How Reviews, Recommendations, and Word-of-Mouth Can Affect Your Life

Kevin Hartford


For financial endeavours that affect their immediate financial and physical well-being – finding a doctor, hiring a lawyer - people turn to trustworthy sources like family and friends for advice. For more frivolous matters – what movie to see, what restaurant to frequent – people are more comfortable seeking a stranger's opinion via online reviews and recommendations. This paper examines the ways in which the presentation of online and offline information affect the decision-making process, as well as investigates the relevance of validity in subjective opinions.

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