DOI: 10.1177/00220221231196321 ISSN:

Impact of Airbnb Host Profile Photos on Guest Star Ratings Based on Cultural Differences in China and the United States

Hyunkyu Jang
  • Anthropology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Social Psychology

This research analyzed the profile photos and star ratings of 45,000 Airbnb hosts in China and the United States, investigating cultural differences in host and guest behavior. The results indicated the existence of cultural differences in the degree of facial disclosure and in facial expressions and their influence on guest ratings. More specifically, first, fewer hosts in China revealed their faces in profile photos than hosts in the United States. Second, in China, star ratings given by guests to hosts who did not disclose their faces were lower than to hosts who did disclose their faces, but in the United States, there was an even greater reduction in ratings for hosts who did not disclose their faces. Third, the facial expressions of hosts in China did not look as happy as those in the United States. Fourth, happy facial expressions of hosts had a more positive impact on guest ratings in China than in the United States. These findings highlight the importance of using profile photos showing happy facial expressions and this is especially important in China.

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