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Peer to peer lending: The relationship between language features, trustworthiness, and persuasion success


This study examined the relationship between language use and persuasion success in the Peer-to-Peer (P2P) lending environment where unaffiliated individuals borrow money directly from each other using a textual description to justify the loan. Over 200,000 loan requests were analyzed with Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC) software. The use of extended narratives, concrete descriptions and quantitative words that are likely related to one’s financial situation had positive associations with funding success which was considered to be an indicator of trust. Humanizing personal details or justifications for one’s current financial situation were negatively associated with funding success. These results offer insights into how individuals can optimize their persuasiveness by monitoring their language use in online environments.

L. Larrimore
L. Jiang
J. Larrimore
D. Markowitz
S. Gorski
Journal of Applied Communication Research
Publication Date
January 25, 2011