• 3Jul

    When similarity beats expertise

    Prospective patients are more strongly influenced by other patients than experts when presented with information from both groups simultaneously on web-based rating platforms, according to a new study.

    The study assessed prospective patients’ decision making when considering both expert and patient ratings simultaneously on a web-based rating platform, as well as examining how the influence of patient and expert ratings is conditional upon rating volume.

    While people were influenced more strongly by other patients when presented with information simultaneously, the effect was reversed when the patient rating had been aggregated from a very small number of individuals.

    The authors argue this has important implications for how to present health care provider ratings to prospective patients to aid their decision-making.


    Kranzbühler AM, Kleijnen MHP, Verlegh PWJ, Teerling M
    When Similarity Beats Expertise—Differential Effects of Patient and Expert Ratings on Physician Choice: Field and Experimental Study
    J Med Internet Res 2019;21(6):e12454 URL: https://www.jmir.org/2019/6/e12454 DOI: 10.2196/12454 PMID: 31244481