Credibility, Trust, Web, Motivation, Information Use, Social Consensus, Audience Effects, Informational Social Influence
Models of the need-driven information search and the information appraisal process were formed from a comprehensive literature review of factors affecting perceived credibility and trust in online information. The social component of online credibility has not, to date, been thoroughly researched. This component's impact on the development of the perceived credibility of online information was examined in two experiments. In the first experiment, the impact of positive, mixed, and negative social feedback on the development of the perceived credibility of a web page was evaluated. In the second experiment, the effect of social feedback on credibility was examined under two levels of motivation for information use to investigate whether social feedback becomes less important as motivation to obtain quality information increases. The results of Experiment 1 suggest that type of feedback can influence perceived web page credibility. Pages with negative audience feedback received the lowest credibility ratings, while pages with positive audience feedback received the highest credibility ratings. Pages with mixed or no audience feedback received higher credibility ratings than pages with negative feedback, but lower credibility ratings than pages with positive feedback. In Experiment 2, high motivation did not impact the number of web page elements participants reported that they used to determine credibility. High motivation for information use also did not reduce the impact of audience feedback on perceived credibility.
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Del Guidice, Katherine, "Trust On The Web: The Impact Of Social Consensus On Information Credibility" (2010). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 4273.