Is your bias affecting my meal?

When we travel to a new place, whether for long overdue vacation, a work trip, or simply a day trip someplace we’ve been meaning to check out, many of us rely on review platforms such as TripAdvisor and Yelp to help us plan our visit. In particular, we look for guidance and advice in selecting restaurants, making choices based on how previous visitors have rated their own experience.

But how accurate are these reviews really? And adding more ‘food’ for thought, how much of a role does personal bias play when it comes to these reviews, and exactly what factors contribute to that bias?

To learn about some surprising ways in which bias impacts online reviews, in this episode I am joined by Marios Kokkodis, professor with the Carroll School of Management at Boston College, whose study, “Your Hometown Matters: Popularity-Difference Bias in Online Reputation Platforms,” is slated for publication in the INFORMS journal Information Systems Research.

Interviewed this episode:

Marios Kokkodis

Boston College

Marios Kokkodis is an Assistant Professor of Information Systems at the Carroll School of Management, Boston College. His research focuses on understanding various aspects of online work, and on algorithmically improving the transaction efficacy of digital workplaces while maximizing the market value of their users. His work appears in major information systems (Management ScienceInformation Systems Research, ICIS), data mining (KDD, WWW, WSDM), and multidisciplinary (Plos One) outlets. He has received multiple awards and nominations, including the INFORMS ISS Gordon B. Davis Young Scholar Award, the INFORMS ISS Nunamaker-Chen dissertation award, the NYU Stern Harold W. MacDowell award, and the LinkedIn economic graph challenge award.