Funded Phd Research

Uri Barnea

Consumer Experience and Impression Management Considerations in Word of Mouth

Marketing Department; Faculty Adviser: Jonah Berger

We study how the information consumers share about products is affected by whether the listener has or has not consumed the product being discussed. Experimental studies provide evidence that when discussing a product that their audience have consumed, people describe it less extremely than when their audience have not consumed it (e.g., a good movie is described less positively and a bad movie is described less negatively). Additional studies explore the extent to which consumers’ motivation to make a good impression on their audience drives this effect of product experience. Our work is relevant to retailers in two ways: First, it can help them better interpret product reviews, and inconsistencies between word of mouth about the same products in different platforms. Second, it proposes ways to affect word of mouth in a beneficial direction, by encouraging people to share in platforms in which their positive opinions will be amplified, and their negative opinions will be attenuated.


“Impression Management Considerations in Descriptions of Negative and Positive Consumption Experiences,” Society for Consumer Psychology Conference, Dallas, TX, February 2018

INSEAD-Wharton PhD Consortium, Philadelphia, PA, November 2017

Trans-Atlantic Doctoral Conference, London, U.K., May 2017

“People Express Less Extreme Opinions When Sharing With an Audience Who Has Experienced the Product Before,” Society for Consumer Psychology Conference, San Francisco, CA, February 2017