In a rating scale are there tendencies to punish or reward undeservedly?
If you watch a movie and don’t much care for it are you more likely to choose a 2 or 3 vs a 1 when rating this movie? “You didn’t like it but you didn’t like it THAT much.” Conversely, you watch another movie and enjoyed it, but you hesitate in awarding a 5 vs a 4 simply because you didn’t not like it THAT much.
And that between these two, subdued rewards or subdued punishment, which is more likely? Is downgrading a movie to a 1 too severe? Are we more forgiving than punishing? Is heralding a movie with a 5 too gracious? Are we less gratuitous than that?
Rating 1 to whatever (3,4,5,10 — 3 Michelin stars, 4 star hotels, 5 star movies, 10 star candy bars) continues to be fraught with problems. And again, the issue is when it comes down to using these numbers, they’re often useless. A rating of 3 on a scale of 1 to 5 means what exactly? Should you or should you not watch this movie? You can’t *partially* watch the movie. Your choice is binary, do or do not, there is no 3.
But this uselessness of rating aside, the inherent biases built into them, the reticence of punishing or lavishing praise shifts these ratings into areas to which those movies, or shows, or restaurants, or hotels, or whatever is being rated, shifts these ratings in to undeserved levels.