Language Abstraction in Word of Mouth
This research examines the language that consumers use in word of mouth. For both positive and negative product experiences, we demonstrate that consumers use more abstract terms when they describe experiences that are in line with the valence of their product attitude. This effect cannot be explained by differences in valence between abstract and concrete language. On the receiver side, abstract language in positive word of mouth leads to (1) the inference that the sender has a more favorable product attitude and (2) a higher buying intention for the product under consideration. The reverse is found for negative word of mouth.