Unveiling What Is Written in the Stars: Analyzing Explicit, Implicit, and Discourse Patterns of Sentiment in Social Media

Francisco Villarroel Ordenes*, Stephan Ludwig, Ko De Ruyter, Dhruv Grewal, Martin Wetzels

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

118 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

Deciphering consumers' sentiment expressions from big data (e.g., online reviews) has become a managerial priority to monitor product and service evaluations. However, sentiment analysis, the process of automatically distilling sentiment from text, provides little insight regarding the language granularities beyond the use of positive and negative words. Drawing on speech act theory, this study provides a fine-grained analysis of the implicit and explicit language used by consumers to express sentiment in text. An empirical text-mining study using more than 45,000 consumer reviews demonstrates the differential impacts of activation levels (e.g., tentative language), implicit sentiment expressions (e.g., commissive language), and discourse patterns (e.g., incoherence) on overall consumer sentiment (i.e., star ratings). In two follow-up studies, we demonstrate that these speech act features also influence the readers' behavior and are generalizable to other social media contexts, such as Twitter and Facebook. We contribute to research on consumer sentiment analysis by offering a more nuanced understanding of consumer sentiments and their implications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)875-894
JournalJournal of Consumer Research
Volume43
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017

Keywords

  • consumer sentiment
  • speech act theory
  • text mining
  • online reviews
  • sales ranks
  • social media

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