How can consumers discern bias in product ratings?


Quick Answer

Consumers can discern bias in product ratings by checking the accompanying reviews for superlatives, perfect language and serial reviewers. Using multiple sources to check ratings and reviews significantly reduces the chances of getting biased results.

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Full Answer

Extreme ratings with 1-star or 5-star scores may indicate a bias. Products or services are rarely perfect or completely terrible. Similarly, genuine reviewers rarely use superlatives to describe their experiences. Instead, they tend to provide detailed information about the product, including both the good and the bad. Scathing reviews may also come from a competitor or someone with a vendetta.

Language can be a good indicator of whether a review is genuine. Reviews that read similar to ad copy and have 5-star ratings are likely from people paid to promote the products. Similarly, reviews with misused syntax and colloquialisms may indicate outsourced dummy-review writers.

Lastly, entries from people rating and reviewing multiple products in the same category may indicate a lack of authenticity. A buyer is unlikely to purchase multiple blenders, for example. Consumers may also check the reviewers' profile for other reviews that the person has written. A positive or negative rating and feedback about a competitor’s product may indicate that the reviewer is not genuine.

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