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The Psychology That Motivates Us to Read Online Reviews Before Buying

Why do we read online reviews of products before buying them? What factors contribute to our decision-making? We’ll discuss our working memory, emotional expression, self-defensive functions, and social proof. We’ll also explore the benefits of reviewing products and what to avoid to create an engaging email. Finally, the psychology behind online reviews explains why consumers trust and rely on them.


Working memory

We can’t remember everything – but we can do better by reading reviews before we buy. Working memory is an essential skill that improves writing and comprehension. Knowing how much time we have for information makes remembering and understanding it more accessible. In addition, online reviews help read what others say about a product. So whether shopping for a computer or a television, it’s a good idea to check online reviews before buying anything.

Our working memory determines whether a product is worth the price tag. We often read reviews online before purchasing a product. We also read them for information. Many people feel more comfortable with online reviews than in person. And you’ll find a much more comprehensive selection of reviews online than ever before! By reading online reviews and looking for a great deal of information about a product, you can make an informed decision on whether or not it’s a good purchase.

Developing our working memory is crucial for many reasons. For example, it helps us with math. For example, adding two numbers together requires us to retain the first two digits, carry the first tens column, and integrate the two columns. Another example of how this skill is valuable is during a search for a new car online. We need to remember how the vehicles look when looking at them online to make an informed decision.


Emotional expression

Our behavioral intention to purchase a product is heavily influenced by the emotional expression we make. Reading online reviews allows us to express our feelings about a product or service. In doing so, we may judge its merits and flaws better. But why do we read online reviews of a product? And how can this influence our behavior? This article will explore the emotional and cognitive reasons for reading online reviews before buying a product or service.

Researchers at Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business and the University of South Florida Muma College of Business challenged the prevailing belief that more helpful reviews are more persuasive. Instead, they found that reviews with negative emotions tended to decrease the informational value of the reviews and polarize consumers’ reactions. While the results were surprising, this evidence does suggest that we should not ignore the power of emotional expression in online reviews.

The role of identity in determining whether we read online reviews is more complex than we initially thought. The emotional expression associated with a product can be related to the brand or the product itself. It can also connect to the customer’s age, occupation, and family. Furthermore, the customer’s position in the decision journey also impacts the reviewer’s feelings. Finally, emotional expression can also be attributed to consumers’ value of the product or service. 


Self-defensive functions

The small sample sizes of the NCVS suggest that it is missing thousands of defensive functions of reading online reviews before buying a self-defense product. These estimates vary in detail and magnitude. But the overall result suggests that the NCVS does miss thousands of self-defense functions each year. Those who use this service report that it has saved them from being victimized by violent attackers or criminals. The same holds for readers of self-defense reviews.


Social proof

People want to buy from brands they trust, so the social proof is an excellent tool for increasing your credibility. Customers often post positive comments online and are more likely to buy from your brand if they see other people raving about it. Social proof can be in the form of product reviews, media coverage, or social media posts. It can even be in the form of Instagram comments or brand advocates’ praise. For B2C products, social proof is most effective, but for B2-B products, it may not work well.

Consumers read online reviews to learn more about a brand, and 92% believe the reviews are more than personal recommendations. According to the National Retail Federation, customers read up to ten reviews before purchasing. In addition, 54% of people visit a company website after reading a positive review. Review and recommendation engines use customer feedback to guide people to a particular brand based on what others have purchased.

Reviews, ratings, and user-generated content (UGC) can influence the decision of shoppers. Moreover, social proof is essential in boosting online conversions, and it can be found in various forms, from customer testimonials to expert reviews. Furthermore, social proof helps boost organic search engine rankings, as search engines favor brands with high ratings and plenty of customer reviews. Social proof is essential in driving online purchases when combined with other psychological triggers.



Consumers trust online reviews more than personal recommendations when making a purchase. This is especially true when it comes to buying a product or brand that is new to them. The average consumer is willing to pay 31% more for a retailer with numerous good reviews. Consumers may also be less likely to trust reviews from unfamiliar brands, but this does not mean they should ignore them. Read on for more reasons why this tactic can help you build consumer trust.

In one study, 91 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. However, 9 percent are skeptical and that reviews posted online were inaccurate. However, the same study found that consumers have to believe that reviews are honest to trust them. Furthermore, half of the consumers can tell if a bot writes a review, so it is essential to read reviews from real people.

Studies show that consumers trust online reviews so much that they read at least four reviews before making a purchase. A positive review can make a product more popular, while a bad one can cost a business a sale. Furthermore, consumers believe online reviews contain more product information than a company. That is why, on average, consumers read four product reviews before making a purchase. These reviews often help other consumers and are an essential source of information for brands and consumers.



The most effective pre-purchase incentives encourage customers to post positive or neutral reviews when it comes to influencing consumers to read online reviews before making a purchase. However, if a reviewer is only motivated to post positive reviews, a pre-purchase incentive is not so effective. It can result in a customer purchasing based on a false or biased review. Incentives to read online reviews before buying should be voluntary and not entice consumers to leave negative reviews.

One recent study by Bazaarvoice looked at whether incentives to read online reviews impacted consumers’ decision-making. While most consumers trust incentivized reviews, a sizable minority do not. That is likely due to the high number of fake and unauthenticated reviews. Despite these challenges, the fact remains that incentivized reviews influence consumer purchasing decisions.

Consumers have become savvier about online reviews, based on a BrightLocal study. According to the survey, the average local business has 39 reviews, but the number varies widely. A typical restaurant, for example, has 309 reviews, while a niche service like a salon only has seven or eight. These results suggest that emotional appeal has minimal impact on consumer trust. In addition to this, the average number of reviews per business varies depending on the industry.