Trust in online recommendations: an evolutionary psychology perspective

Gerard P PRENDERGAST*, Aishwarya Paliwal, Kelvyn Ka Fuk Chan

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

    11 Citations (Scopus)


    Electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) is playing an increasingly important role in influencing consumer behavior, and it represents another opportunity for marketers to build support for their brands. This study explores how the gender of the reader influences how eWOM is perceived. An experiment grounded in evolutionary psychology examines how males and females differ in their perceived trust of eWOM of positive, negative, or mixed valence. The results indicate that females place greater trust than males in eWOM messages. But both genders find eWOM of mixed valence more trustworthy than entirely positive or negative eWOM. A follow-up phenomenological study of male and female consumers who had experienced eWOM shed more light on the experimental findings and offers additional support for their evolutionary basis. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed as well as recommendations for further research.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)199-216
    Number of pages18
    JournalInternational Journal of Advertising
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2018

    Scopus Subject Areas

    • Communication
    • Marketing

    User-Defined Keywords

    • communication
    • evolutionary psychology
    • gender
    • Internet marketing
    • word-of-mouth


    Dive into the research topics of 'Trust in online recommendations: an evolutionary psychology perspective'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this