How Damaging is Negative Word of Mouth? Essay

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The purpose of the study was to validate the implications of Word of Mouth in Pakistani cultural setup. This study replicates a previous study by Charlett, D., Garland, R. and Marr, N. (1995) testing the two hypotheses “that both positive and negative WOM will affect consumers' probability of purchase and attitudes towards a product” and “that negative WOM will have a stronger effect than positive WOM on consumers' probability of purchase and attitudes towards a product”. Data was collected from a convenience sample of university students divided into three groups, two of which were exposed to positive and negative WOM respectively and third taken as the control group. Results of data analysis supported both the hypotheses, contrary to the findings of previous study for the second hypothesis. A number of variables, including the small sample and variations in realistic cultural settings, however, impose limitations on the study that can be removed through future studies. The research supports the significance of WOM and stronger effect of negative WOM in Pakistani cultural setup and impresses upon the value of WOM for any marketable product.

Keywords: Word of Mouth, Purchase Probabilities, Customer Satisfaction, Attitude Measurement.

1. Introduction

Call it advice, suggestion, consultation or gossip and even grapevine the importance of opinion passed on as word of mouth has never diminished since the history of human society. Whatever the promotional effort or how convincing the advertising message devised, almost everything gets debated amongst people and either gets a nod of approval and thus the legitimacy for adoption or fades away like many other ideas in the pages of history. Therefore, it is natural for a...

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...ce Research [Online]. Available at: (Accessed: 25 October 2008).
[11] Trusov, M., Bucklin R.E., Pauwels K., (in press) ‘Estimating the Dynamic Effects of Online Word-of-Mouth on Member Growth of Internet Social Networks’ [Online]. Available at: (Accessed: 25 October 2008).
[12] Yoh, T. (2005) ‘Information sources for college students athletic shoe purchasing’, Smart Online Journal, Spring 2005, pp. 28-34 [Online]. Available at: (Accessed: 25 October 2008).
[13] Word of Mouth Marketing Association (2008) WOMMA’s Practical Ethics Toolkit. Available at: (Accessed: 9 November 2008).

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