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The availability of customer reviews from smart tourism systems provides an interesting research opportunity to investigate the role of consumer’s perceived quality relative to a reference group on online satisfaction scores. This paper shows a positive relationship between the satisfaction score and the difference between the consumers’ perceived quality and the reference group’s quality level. The findings support comparison-level theory coupled with the product-based norm as a comparison standard, which posits that consumers use the average quality of the product’s reference group as the relevant comparison standard. Furthermore, consumers are found to be more sensitive to negative deviations from the reference group’s quality than from positive deviations, which is consistent with prospect theory.


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© Elsevier. Final version published as: Kim, J-Y., & Canina, L. (2015) An analysis of smart tourism system satisfaction scores: The role of priced versus average quality. Computers in Human Behavior, 50,610-617.
doi: 10.1016/j.chb.2015.02.070
Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.