Why You Can’t Trust Negative Reviews (New York Times Article)



The New York Times recently published the following article (click the link below to read it) entitled,

Why You Can’t Really Trust Negative Online Reviews

The article is fascinating—and not what I was expecting.

From the headline, I was expecting to see research into ulterior motives (like products being slammed by competitors).

Rather, I learned a few things about the habits of people who write both positive and negative reviews.

And it really makes you question whether we should place so much trust on the opinions of a very small percentage of product users.

If you’re going to read Amazon reviews, the article included a few tips to help you utilize them better.

Write Happy, Be Happy

Chris McMullen

Author of the Improve Your Math Fluency series of math workbooks and self-publishing guides

14 comments on “Why You Can’t Trust Negative Reviews (New York Times Article)

  1. Can’t say I agree with a lot of points, particularly the one that’s about the reviewer. I do review things, sometimes, and I give my honest opinion. I do not often review things when there is nothing outstanding. So I do not write mass reviews. Still my reviews are genuine and not bought or fake .. And I am not married, never had kids and I am probably more wealthy than people who shop a lot online …
    “People who write online reviews are more likely to buy things in unusual sizes, make returns, be married, have more children, be younger and less wealthy, and have graduate degrees than the average consumer, according to Dr. Simester’s 2014 study. ”
    And I belong to the older generation, I am already today’s grandparents-generation (my brother is a grandfather).
    So no, I do not think that the study gets a lot right – at least not concerning me.

    • Thank you for sharing your experience with reviews. (I wonder what percentage is attached to ‘more likely’ in this case. There must be significant exceptions, but evidently this is the statistical tendency.)

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