Expert Online Review Platforms: Interactions between Specialization, Experience, and User Power

Fuad Mehraliyev, Youngjoon Choi, Brian King

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Using the “Computers are social actors” paradigm, this study brings the concept of power to human–computer interactions in tourism. Building on theories of social power and deliberate practice, the authors examine psychological effects of expert power of online travel review platforms (influencer) and its interaction effects with the power of users (influenced). Two expert platform attributes are conceptualized: specialization and experience. A significant interaction effect was identified between platform specialization, platform experience, and user power on perceived information-task fit using a 2 × 2 × 2 between-subjects experiment. When users are powerful, specialization affected perceived information-task fit for low-experience platforms; no significant effect was evident for high experience platforms. When users are powerless, specialization did not affect perceived information-task fit, regardless of experience condition. Perceived information-task fit mediated the effect of specialization on intention to use. The findings contribute to power discourses by exploring the workings of expert power.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)384-400
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Travel Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank the Institute of International Business and Governance, established with the substantial support of a grant from the Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China (UGC/IDS 16/17), for its support.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2020.


  • CASA paradigm
  • experience
  • expert power
  • online review platform
  • sense of power
  • specialization


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