Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

Weather outside can affect our opinions online, says Israeli researcher

A new study found that rain caused people to write more negative reviews of hotels, even if it was sunny during the actual stay

What goes into a good stay at a hotel? Plush towels, a comfortable mattress, an all-you-can-eat buffet. When you return home and log on to review the accommodations, there’s another factor that can play a role: the weather outside when you’re typing the review. That’s because, according to a new study, the current weather plays a crucial role in coloring “our perceptions of past experiences.”

Yaniv Dover, the lead researcher and professor of the Jerusalem Business School and the Federmann Center for the study of Rationality at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, recently published his study’s findings in the “Journal of Consumer Research.” Along with Professor Leif Brandes from the University of Lucerne in Sweden, he utilized “12 years of data and 3 million hotel bookings to examine how 340,000 anonymous online reviews” were affected by the weather on the day they were posted online. 

The data relied on numerous factors. The study took into account the weather in the reviewer’s location, the star rating that the reviewer provided, the vocabulary used by the reviewers to describe their stay and the weather conditions experienced during the reviewer’s stay at the hotel. The study revealed that, typically, bad weather lowered the reviewer’s rating of their past hotel encounter. 

Bad weather often caused reviewers to write longer and scathing reviews. Interestingly, the study revealed that people were more likely to write reviews on rainy days and that the “effect of the weather on the review was independent of the weather they experienced during the hotel stay.” This is likely because poor weather conditions activate negative emotions and memories, which overshadow the reviews. 

Dover’s research demonstrates the larger implications of external factors on people’s moods and online judgments. He explained that this area of research “can help policymakers frame policies to better engineer a more productive and healthy effect of online activities on our daily lives.”

Engage

  • SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK

  • UPCOMING EVENT

    SKY & SCULPTURE

    Hybrid: Online and at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan

    Oct 2, 2022

    6:30 pm ET · 

    A Sukkah, IMKHA, created by artist Tobi Kahn, for the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan is an installation consisting of 13 interrelated sculpted painted wooden panels, constituting a single work of art. Join for a panel discussion with Rabbi Joanna Samuels, Chief Executive Director of the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan, Talya Zax, Innovation Editor of the Forward, and Tobi Kahn, Artist. Moderated by Mattie Kahn.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.