Why consumers exaggerate in online reviews? Moral disengagement and dark personality traits

Payal S. Kapoor, Balaji M S, Moutusy Maity, Nikunj Kumar Jain

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


Diffusion of digital media has led to extensive reliance on online reviews for purchase decisions. However, consumers may routinely exaggerate about their own consumption experiences. Using moral disengagement theory and the dark personality trait, the present study seeks to enhance the understanding of consumers' intentions to exaggerate about their consumption experience in online reviews. In order to demonstrate convergence of finding and replicability of the proposed relationships, four studies were conducted to examine consumers’ intention to exaggerate about their positive and negative experiences in online reviews for search and experience products respectively. Findings showed significant positive relationships between dark personality traits and intention to exaggerate in online reviews. Furthermore, moral disengagement significantly mediated intention to exaggerate for narcissists and psychopaths. The results reinforce the usefulness of the study for managers as these studies augment the understanding of consumer lying behavior in the context of online reviews and offer insights into mechanisms that might prevent the amplification of such reviews.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102496
JournalJournal of Retailing and Consumer Services
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


  • Dark triad
  • Exaggeration
  • Lying
  • Moral disengagement
  • Online reviews

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing


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