Sharing from Kevin
A third-party reviewer can be a person, company, or government agency and can be found in a plethora of sectors and industries. Recently, there has been mounting evidence that calls into question just how unbiased some third party review systems are.
Two colleagues and I ran a study at the BRITE Lab to examine factors affecting the decisions of third-party raters and their impact on producers/service providers. We manipulated two factors (1) whether the rater and the service provider know each other’s identity, and (2) whether the rater and the service provider interact repeatedly.
We find that decisions of both the rater and the service provider are very sensitive to the relational factors that govern their interaction. When the rater and the service provider know each other’s identities, we observe a high proportion of overrating even though raters earn less monetary rewards for doing so, and the propensity to overrate is even stronger with repeated interactions (see below). Furthermore, the service provider chooses low quality levels.