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How Ratings Systems Shape User Behavior in the Gig Economy

Platform providers typically display ratings information to the user in two ways. Incremental rating systems, employed by platforms like TaskRabbit and Airbnb, offer a detailed view by listing and often providing insights into every individual review score. Averaged rating systems, used by platforms such as Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash, present an overall score that aggregates all individual ratings. Over a series of nine experiments, researchers found that the way low ratings are communicated shapes user experience and behavior in a number of ways. Their findings offer implications for companies choosing between incremental or average ratings systems.

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