Originally published August 12, 2013
Here are two excerpts:
A new study co-authored by an MIT professor suggests that many people are, in fact, heavily influenced by the positive opinions other people express online - but are much less swayed by negative opinions posted in the same venues. Certain topics, including politics, see much more of this "herding" effect than others.
"This herding behavior happens systematically on positive signals of quality and ratings," says Sinan Aral, an associate professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and one of three authors of the study. At the same time, Aral notes, the results "were asymmetric between positive and negative herding." Comments given negative ratings attracted more negative judgments, but that increase was drowned out by what the researchers call a "correction effect" of additional positive responses.
The entire article is here.