Online News and Corporate Reputation: A Neurophysiological Investigation

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We examined emotional, motivational, and evaluative responses to positively and negatively valenced online news messages about companies with a good or bad corporate reputation; the valence of reader comments on the news messages was also varied. In addition to self-report ratings, physiological measurements, including electroencephalography (EEG), facial electromyography (EMG), and electrodermal activity (EDA), were obtained continuously. Self-reported pleasure and willingness to use products/services, relative left frontal EEG activation (i.e., approach motivation), and EDA were higher for good-reputation companies compared with bad-reputation companies. The findings show that corporate reputation affects emotional and motivational processes and that the emotional tone of messages and reader comments in online news affects reputation formation.

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