A Stanford study found that when choosing between two products online, people tend to favor products with more reviews despite the fact that the more-reviewed product is of lower quality.
When evaluating online purchases, a product’s rating and number of reviews seem helpful to an unsure consumer.
But how often do we scrutinize those figures to learn their true meaning? Not nearly enough, according to a recent study by Derek Powell, a postdoctoral research fellow at Stanford University. The study, which appeared Aug. 21 in Psychological Science, finds that most people fail to do a simple statistical task when viewing online ratings and reviews, leading them to purchase inferior products.