An integrative model of new product evaluation: a systematic investigation of perceived novelty and product evaluation in the movie industry
The literature on perceived novelty and product evaluation has diverged into two disparate streams of research. The first stream builds on theories of curiosity and argues that the perceived novelty of a new product benefits product evaluation because it induces curiosity and provides evaluators (e.g., customers) with positive experiences in learning new features of the product and in resolving their curiosity. In contrast, the second stream adopts theories of expectation violations and argues that perceived novelty decreases product evaluation because it violates evaluators’ expectations of a new product and requires burdensome efforts to make sense of the product. The main goal of our research is to resolve this theoretical inconsistency by offering an integrative model of new product evaluation that proposes an inverted U-shaped curvilinear relationship between perceived novelty and product evaluation. Based on this model, we further examine whether a producer’s reputation plays an ironic moderating role in this curvilinear relationship. Utilizing content analysis and big data approaches with a large sample of 49,835 reviews of 147 movies in the movie industry, we found that an evaluator’s perception of the novelty of a new movie benefited product evaluation but only when that perceived novelty was moderate; at higher levels of perceived novelty, the product evaluation decreased. In addition, we compared the curves of high vs. low reputation producers and found that perceived novelty penalized product evaluation of new movies created by high reputation producers.