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That personal profile image might jeopardize your rental opportunity! On the relative impact of the seller's facial expressions upon buying behavior on Airbnb

Fagerstrøm, Asle, Pawar, Sanchit, Sigurdsson, Valdimar, Foxall, Gordon R and Yani-De-Soriano, Mirella 2017. That personal profile image might jeopardize your rental opportunity! On the relative impact of the seller's facial expressions upon buying behavior on Airbnb. Computers in Human Behavior 72 , pp. 123-131.

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Abstract

Airbnb is an online marketplace for peer-to-peer accommodation rental services. In contrast to traditional rental services, personal profile images, i.e. the sellers' facial images, are present along with the housing on offer. This study aims to investigate the impact of a seller's facial image and their expression upon buyers' behavior in this context. The impact of facial expressions was investigated together with other relevant variables (price and customer ratings). Findings from a conjoint study (n ¼ 139) show that the impact of a seller's facial expression on buying behavior in an online peer-to-peer context is significant. A negative facial expression and absence of facial image (head silhouette) abates approach and evokes avoidance tendencies to explore a specific web page on Airbnb, and, simultaneously decrease the likelihood to rent. The reverse effect was true for neutral and positive facial expressions. We found that a negative and positive facial expression had more impact on likelihood to rent, for women than for men. Further analysis shows that the absence of facial image and an angry facial expression cannot be compensated for by a low price and top customer ratings related to likelihood to rent. Practitioners should keep in mind that the presence/absence of facial images and their inherent expressions have a significant impact in the peer-to-peer accommodation rental services.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sharing economy Peer-to-peer Facial expressions Evolutionary psychology Approach and avoidance Conjoint study
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0747-5632
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 4 March 2017
Date of Acceptance: 9 February 2017
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2019 23:44
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/98713

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