Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


William F. Harrah College of Hospitality

First Committee Member

James Busser

Second Committee Member

Billy Bai

Third Committee Member

Hyelin Kim

Fourth Committee Member

Lori Temple


Consumers seek out online reviews to aid their decision-making, particularly when purchasing products and services online. Given their power to influence consumer behavior, online reviews have been extensively studied in various settings. While much research has focused on what determines the performance of online reviews, limited research has focused on why a particular review receives more or less attention from consumers. This study aims to fill this knowledge gap by exploring how consumers with different mindsets respond to online reviews framed at different levels of construal. Applying the construal fit principle, this research predicts that consumers more fluently process online reviews framed in a way that fits with their construal mindset and thus display more extreme evaluative reactions. To test this prediction, two between-subjects experiments were conducted in an online food delivery setting. Following the premise of construal level theory, different construal mindsets were induced using temporal distance in Study 1 and spatial distance in Study 2. In both Study 1 and 2, negative online reviews were framed at different levels of construal by varying the types of service failure depicted and the levels of language abstraction used in the review content. The direct and indirect effects of mental construal and review framing on intention measures were analyzed using a series of ANCOVAs and a bootstrapping model. The results of Study 1 demonstrated that temporal distance, through its impact on the construal mindset, determined the relative effectiveness of review framing. Specifically, temporal proximity induced low-level construal, and temporal distance triggered high-level construal. The activation of low-level construal rendered feasibility-related, concrete negative reviews conceptually more fluent. The activation of high-level construal, in contrast, led to more fluent processing of desirability-related, abstract negative reviews. This enhanced processing fluency, in turn, resulted in increased anger and willingness to switch. The results of Study 2 are consistent with those of Study 1, whereby low- and high-level construals triggered by spatial proximity and distance yielded an experience of fluency in processing feasibility-related, concrete and desirability-related, abstract negative reviews, respectively, and then increased consumers’ anger and switching intention. Taken together, the results lend support to the prediction that a subjective experience of fluency arising from processing online reviews that are framed to fit rather than misfit with one’s construal mindset intensifies emotional and behavioral reactions. This research extends prior studies on online reviews by looking at both the content- and word-level linguistic styles of review content and by examining how they interact with an individual-level variable (i.e., construal mindset) to predict consumer responses. The current research also provides practical suggestions for restaurateurs to protect their competitive positions in the online food delivery market. The findings emphasize the importance of understanding consumers’ delivery ordering patterns to better leverage negative reviews.

Controlled Subject

Reviews;Consumers;Consumer satisfaction;


Business Administration, Management, and Operations | Marketing

File Format


File Size

1944 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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