The impact of movie reviews vs. word of mouth on post-viewing evaluations of films

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Schrage, Scott
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Lulu Rodriguez
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Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication
The Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication offers two majors: Advertising (instructing students in applied communication for work in business or industry), and Journalism and Mass Communication (instructing students in various aspects of news and information organizing, writing, editing, and presentation on various topics and in various platforms). The Department of Agricultural Journalism was formed in 1905 in the Division of Agriculture. In 1925 its name was changed to the Department of Technical Journalism. In 1969 its name changed to the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications; from 1969 to 1989 the department was directed by all four colleges, and in 1989 was placed under the direction of the College of Sciences and Humanities (later College of Liberal Arts and Sciences). In 1998 its name was changed to the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication.
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Moviegoers regularly encounter movie reviews and word of mouth (WOM) prior to seeing a film. This thesis examined (1) whether reviews and WOM influence moviegoers' post-viewing opinions of a film and (2) whether this information's influence is moderated by moviegoing frequency. Using a between-subjects factorial design, the study gave participants positive or negative information about a film that they were led to believe came from either professional movie reviews or students at their university. Participants then watched the film and gave their opinions of its quality. The study found that, regardless of valence or source, this information did not significantly influence participants' post-viewing opinions of the film. In addition, frequency of moviegoing did not moderate the information's impact on those opinions. Potential explanations for these results and future directions for study are discussed.

Sun Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2012