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A Moderating Role of Channel Responsiveness in the Effects of Online Information Source
Unformatted Document Text:  12 share the true purpose of the experiment with others, and thanked for their participation on the final computer screen. Manipulations This was a 2 (source: government vs. commercial) x 2 (interactivity: high vs. low) between-subject experiment. Source Manipulation. To induce the source manipulation, participants were randomly assigned to receive messages about allergies that were attributed to either a government source or a commercial source. The governmental source was presented as being Dr. Tallet, “a leading allergy researcher with the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH),” who complied information “designed to educate the target audience about allergies.” The commercial source was presented as being GlaxoSmithKline, “a pharmaceutical company that has recently released a new allergy medication” and also “has complied information designed to educate the target audience about allergies.” These two sources were chosen due to their similar level of recognition among participants. We tried to manipulate the only credibility dimension of the source by suggesting to participants that one source has a commercial intent while the other does not. We believed that participants would recognize both NIH and GlaxoSmithKline, but without much knowledge about their other attributes. At the same time, by choosing non-fictional organizations, we hoped to be able to provide practical implications. To make the manipulation effective, the name of the source appeared on every page at least once and the logo of the relevant organization (NHI or GlaxoSmithKline) was placed prominently on each of the seven individual Web pages. Responsiveness Manipulation. Allergy information from both government source and commercial source was provided with either high or low responsiveness condition. If participants were assigned to the low responsiveness condition, after reading the material on each page, they clicked the “NEXT” button to progress to the next screen. Thus, their action was simply a way to progress through the experiment. If they were assigned to the high responsiveness condition, after reading the material on each page, participants were shown three

Authors: Kim, Hyojin. and Stephens, Keri.
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12
share the true purpose of the experiment with others, and thanked for their participation on the
final computer screen.
Manipulations
This was a 2 (source: government vs. commercial) x 2 (interactivity: high vs. low)
between-subject experiment.
Source Manipulation. To induce the source manipulation, participants were randomly
assigned to receive messages about allergies that were attributed to either a government source or
a commercial source. The governmental source was presented as being Dr. Tallet, “a leading
allergy researcher with the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH),” who complied
information “designed to educate the target audience about allergies.” The commercial source
was presented as being GlaxoSmithKline, “a pharmaceutical company that has recently released
a new allergy medication” and also “has complied information designed to educate the target
audience about allergies.” These two sources were chosen due to their similar level of
recognition among participants. We tried to manipulate the only credibility dimension of the
source by suggesting to participants that one source has a commercial intent while the other does
not. We believed that participants would recognize both NIH and GlaxoSmithKline, but without
much knowledge about their other attributes. At the same time, by choosing non-fictional
organizations, we hoped to be able to provide practical implications. To make the manipulation
effective, the name of the source appeared on every page at least once and the logo of the
relevant organization (NHI or GlaxoSmithKline) was placed prominently on each of the seven
individual Web pages.
Responsiveness Manipulation. Allergy information from both government source and
commercial source was provided with either high or low responsiveness condition. If
participants were assigned to the low responsiveness condition, after reading the material on each
page, they clicked the “NEXT” button to progress to the next screen. Thus, their action was
simply a way to progress through the experiment. If they were assigned to the high
responsiveness condition, after reading the material on each page, participants were shown three


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