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A Moderating Role of Channel Responsiveness in the Effects of Online Information Source
Unformatted Document Text:  11 Procedure During the recruitment process, participants were told that this was a two-part, Web- based experiment, where we were interested in their evaluation of information regarding allergies. After reading and signing the consent form, participants were given a URL and instructed to log onto the Web site at their convenience and complete part one. Part one contained general information designed primarily to measure control variables. This Web address was available for approximately 72 hours. Part one included a section where participants gave their email address as a way to be notified about part two. Three days after the completion of part one, participants were emailed a second URL and instructed to log onto that site to complete the study. Since the responsiveness manipulation was supposed to work on participants’ perception of responsiveness of the Web site, we were concerned that the Web-based survey in part one might contaminate the responsiveness manipulation. Therefore, the second part of the study started three days after the part one so that any responsiveness of the Web site in part one during the pre-manipulation survey would not affect the responsiveness manipulation in part two. Upon arrival to the second Web site, a programming code embedded in the Web site randomly assigned participants to one of four experimental conditions: (1) government source, high responsiveness (N = 41); (2) government source, low responsiveness (N = 49); (3) commercial source, high responsiveness (N = 44); and (4) commercial source, low responsiveness (N = 56). In all four conditions, the same content about allergies and ways to prevent allergies was presented in a series of seven different pages. This material was factual and was compiled by the first author from the National Institute of Health ( http://www.niaid.nih.gov/publications/allergens/title.htm ) and the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America ( http://www.aafa.org ). After participants clicked through seven pages of the Web site, they were asked questions that comprised the primary outcomes of this study, including questions to check the manipulations. Upon completion of the questionnaire, participants were debriefed, asked not to

Authors: Kim, Hyojin. and Stephens, Keri.
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11
Procedure
During the recruitment process, participants were told that this was a two-part, Web-
based experiment, where we were interested in their evaluation of information regarding
allergies. After reading and signing the consent form, participants were given a URL and
instructed to log onto the Web site at their convenience and complete part one. Part one
contained general information designed primarily to measure control variables. This Web
address was available for approximately 72 hours. Part one included a section where participants
gave their email address as a way to be notified about part two.
Three days after the completion of part one, participants were emailed a second URL and
instructed to log onto that site to complete the study. Since the responsiveness manipulation was
supposed to work on participants’ perception of responsiveness of the Web site, we were
concerned that the Web-based survey in part one might contaminate the responsiveness
manipulation. Therefore, the second part of the study started three days after the part one so that
any responsiveness of the Web site in part one during the pre-manipulation survey would not
affect the responsiveness manipulation in part two.
Upon arrival to the second Web site, a programming code embedded in the Web site
randomly assigned participants to one of four experimental conditions: (1) government source,
high responsiveness (N = 41); (2) government source, low responsiveness (N = 49); (3)
commercial source, high responsiveness (N = 44); and (4) commercial source, low
responsiveness (N = 56). In all four conditions, the same content about allergies and ways to
prevent allergies was presented in a series of seven different pages. This material was factual
and was compiled by the first author from the National Institute of Health
(
http://www.niaid.nih.gov/publications/allergens/title.htm
) and the Asthma and Allergy
Foundation of America (
http://www.aafa.org
).
After participants clicked through seven pages of the Web site, they were asked questions
that comprised the primary outcomes of this study, including questions to check the
manipulations. Upon completion of the questionnaire, participants were debriefed, asked not to


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