Do Negative Experiences Always Lead to Dissatisfaction? — Testing Attribution Theory in the Context of Online Travel Reviews

Abstract

The literature generally suggests that negative experiences should lead to dissatisfaction. However, attribution theory has been proposed to explain why this is not always the case. Using a sample of online hotel reviews, this paper tests how attribution and reference to eWOM mediate the influence of negative experiences on satisfaction. The results support only one of the hypotheses and generally only a small portion of the variance of satisfaction can be explained with the proposed model. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.