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Dans un contexte d'intensification de l'usage de l'écrit au travail, d'une forte demande en compétences rédactionnelles de la part des organisations et d'une diminution généralisée du niveau en orthographe, notre étude souhaite mettre en évidence le coût des fautes pour un site commercial ainsi que l'impact de ces fautes au sens large. Nous avons donc mené une expérimentation auprès d'internautes (N=1991) assignés aléatoirement à l'une des 3 conditions (site sans fautes, site avec des fautes typographiques, site avec des fautes d'orthographe). Les données ont fait l'objet d'une analyse lexicale et quantitative. Nos résultats indiquent que les participants ont uniquement repéré et pénalisé les sites contenant un type spécifique de fautes (typographiques) en termes d'attitudes à l'égard de la marque, de confiance dans le site Internet et d'intention d'achat. Ces résultats sont discutés, notamment l'effet différencié des fautes sur un site Internet. Abstract: In a context of intensification of professional writing at the workplace, of a growing demand for employees' writing skills and of a decrease in the spelling skills of both students and employees, our study aims to highlight the cost of the spelling errors on a commercial website and their impacts on the company in the broad sense. In our experiment, adult participants (N=1991) were randomly assigned to three major conditions (no errors, typographical errors and spelling/grammar errors) when they visited a website. Both lexical and quantitative analysis suggest that they only identified a type of errors (the typographical ones) and that this kind of errors had a detrimental impact on both the attitudes towards the brand and trust in the website and on intentions to purchase. Results are discussed, especially the differences in evaluation of written errors. Remerciements : Les auteurs tiennent à remercier la société AB-Tasty qui nous a offert son soutien technique pour la mise en oeuvre des déclinaisons de sites ainsi que le suivi quantitatif de l'audience. « QUEL DOMMAGE QU'IL Y EST AUTANT DE FAUTE ! » LA PRISE EN COMPTE DES FAUTES PAR LES CONSOMMATEURS

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Adult participants (n = 224), mostly undergraduates, were randomly assigned to three major conditions representing three levels of textual errors (none, few, many). They read a text requesting financial assistance, then rated the writer on the Big Five personality traits (Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, Emotional Stability), and on three personality domains (Social Evaluation, Intellectual Evaluation, Potency). Finally, they judged the likelihood that the writer’s request would be granted, and gave reasons for their decision. Generally, textual errors created an overall negative impression, which was mainly accounted for by Conscientiousness. However, textual errors did not affect the financial judgments, which were predicted mainly by Conscientiousness and Intellectual Evaluation. Participants who cited writing errors in their reasons for their financial judgment gave a lower rating for the likelihood that the request would be honoured. For those who were more accurate at detecting errors, textual errors created a negative impression on the Big Five traits, accounted for by Conscientiousness, and on the three personality domains, accounted for by Intellectual Evaluation. There was also a negative effect of textual errors on the financial judgment, which was mediated mainly by Intellectual Evaluation. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
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What are the effects of forced exposure to the brand website on perceived brand personality? An experiment with random assignment to exposure vs. control (non‐exposure) groups for ten websites is analysed. Three covariates are included to test their impact on brand personality after website exposure: product type (utilitarian/functional vs. auto‐expressive), enduring involvement with the product category and attitude toward the website.The results of this study show significant differences between exposed and non‐exposed individuals. Two dimensions of brand personality (youthfulness/modernity and sincerity/confidence) increase after exposure to the brand website. In addition, the brand is perceived younger and more modern when a visitor to the site has a positive attitude toward the brand's website than when s/he has a negative attitude toward the website. This reinforces the perception of the brand as being more sincere and trustworthy, which is particular important for e‐commerce websites.
Despite the time spent on writing at work and employers’ dissatisfaction with their employees’ spelling skills, little is known about recruiters’ attribution, and decision making when they read application forms with spelling errors. This study examines the impact of spelling and typographic errors on recruiters’ attributions about applicants, and on their shortlisting decision. Based on a sample of 20 French recruiters, we conducted an experiment to collect both qualitative data through the verbal protocol method and quantitative data. Specific verbal reports are associated with different types of errors. Recruiters also form attributions about candidates. We demonstrate that spelling errors affect recruiters’ behavior more negatively than typographic ones. We discuss the implications of these findings for researchers and practitioners.
Consumers increasingly rely on online product reviews when making purchase decisions. However, assessing the credibility of online reviewers presents consumers with unique challenges. This paper examines how consumer perceptions of reviewer credibility are influenced by the presence and type of textual errors in the review itself. The results of an online experiment indicate that consumers’ reactions to textual errors are moderated by their general trust in others. Low-trust consumers are relatively insensitive to textual errors in judging reviewer credibility. However, high-trust consumers are less forgiving of typographical errors (which may signal carelessness) than orthographical errors (which may indicate cognitive challenges). Implications for future research are discussed.
The growing ubiquity of mobile telephony able to send e-mail raises new questions, and renews old issues, about the effect of the medium on a message. This article reports experimental results testing effects of user- and medium-generated cues on perceptions of message senders. Grounded in warranting theory, we assess the interaction of low- and high-warrant cues on perceptions of the sender's professionalism, hypothesizing senders of grammatically accurate messages are perceived as more credible. However, we also hypothesize an interaction between grammatical accuracy and the system-generated high-warrant cues from the mobile device used to send the message. Responses from 111 students assessing the credibility of an e-mail sender indicate that, although a message's user-generated content (grammatically accurate vs. erred) influences receiver's perceptions, negative attributions are attenuated by cues reflecting the transmission medium (i.e., a message's mobile signature block). Findings offer theoretical implications for warranting theory. Additionally, results suggest practitioners need to craft a message and indicate the transmission medium strategically to mitigate any impacts on attributions of professionalism to message receivers.
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Communication skills are a fundamental personal competency for a successful career in accounting. What is not so obvious is the specific written communication skill set employers look for and the extent those skills are computer mediated. Using survey research, this article explores the particular skills employers desire and their satisfaction level with new hires. Results indicate that basic writing mechanics are the skills in highest demand, followed by effective documentation. Except for email proficiency, employers do not consider computer-mediated communication competencies as important as traditional business communication skills. The article concludes with curricular implications for accounting communication.
The rise of online reviews written by consumers makes possible an examination of how the content and style of these word-of-mouth messages contribute to their helpfulness. In this study, consumers are asked to judge the value of real online consumer reviews to their simulated shopping activities. The results suggest the benefits of moderate review length and of positive, but not negative, product evaluative statements. Non-evaluative product information and information about the reviewer were also found to be associated with review helpfulness. Stylistic elements that may impair clarity (such as spelling and grammatical errors) were associated with less valuable reviews, and elements that may make a review more entertaining (such as expressive slang and humor) were associated with more valuable reviews. These findings point to factors other than product information that may affect the perceived helpfulness of an online consumer review.
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We investigated expectations regarding a writer's responsibility to proofread text for spelling errors when using a word processor. Undergraduate students read an essay and completed a questionnaire regarding their perceptions of the author and the quality of the essay. We manipulated type of spelling error (no error, homophone error, non-homophone error) and information provided about the author's use of a spell checker (no information, author did not use a spell checker, author did use a spell checker). Participants' perceptions of the author's abilities and the quality of the essay suffered when the essay contained non-homophone spelling errors—errors that are typically flagged by a spell checker. Further, participants reported that they would be most likely to blame the writer rather than the spell checker for spelling errors contained in the text. These findings suggest that perceptions of both an author's abilities and the written products are affected by spelling errors. Even when supportive tools are available, the responsibility for producing error-free text remains with the author.
Conference Paper
The credibility of web sites is becoming an increasingly important area to understand. To expand knowledge in this domain, we conducted an online study that investigated how different elements of Web sites affect people's perception of credibility. Over 1400 people participated in this study, both from the U.S. and Europe, evaluating 51 different Web site elements. The data showed which elements boost and which elements hurt perceptions of Web credibility. Through analysis we found these elements fell into one of seven factors. In order of impact, the five types of elements that increased credibility perceptions were “real-world feel”, “ease of use”, “expertise”, “trustworthiness”, and “tailoring”. The two types of elements that hurt credibility were “commercial implications&rdquo ;and “amateurism”. This large-scale study lays the groundwork for further research into the elements that affect Web credibility. The results also suggest implications for designing credible Web sites.
Although there has been a great deal of research on impression formation, little application of that research has been made to electronic commerce. A research model was constructed that hypothesized errors, poor style, and incompleteness to be inversely related to the users' level of perceived quality of an online store. Further, this perceived quality of the online store's Web site would be directly related to users' trust in the store and, ultimately, to users' intentions to purchase from the store. An experimental study with 272 undergraduate and graduate student volunteers supported all the hypotheses. In addition, it was found that the relationship between the factors and perceived quality was mediated by the perception of the flaws. The perception of flaws rather than the actual flaws influenced users' perception of quality. Supplemental analysis also seemed to indicate a pattern of diminishing effects with each subsequent flaw.
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