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A Moderating Role of Channel Responsiveness in the Effects of Online Information Source
Unformatted Document Text:  4 source is constructed differs for each individual at every moment: Which component of the source individuals draw on depends upon individuals’ characteristics, such as individuals’ familiarity of a particular source component (Barnes, 1978; Fuchs, 1964; Hansen, 1972). The broad definition of source was widely adopted by source researchers, who compared credibility of media, organization, and individuals (e.g., experts) as a source of information (Klemm, Iding, & Speitel, 2001; Marquart & O’Keefe, 1995; Reagan, 1996). We also adopt this definition because Internet users refer to various components of a source (e.g., the Web, a Web site sponsor, an author of specific content) as an information source. A few studies have provided empirical evidence on the effects of different source components. Fuchs (1964), for example, tested the “balance theory” by assessing participants’ changes in attitude toward a product as a result of varying levels of prestige of a company (the originator) and a magazine in which the company advertised the product (the channel). The balance theory, based on principle of congruity, posits that initial attitude toward an object is adjusted by attitude toward the other object that is linked to the former object by a “semantic assertion.” This theory leads to a prediction that individuals will change their attitude toward a product after they were exposed to an ad by a high vs. low prestige company in a high vs. low prestige magazine. Although Fuchs did not find interactive effects of the company and the magazine, he confirmed independent prestige effects of the company and the magazine. Based on a similar concept of source components, Barnes (1978) examined effects of a manufacturer’s brand, retail store, and newspaper on consumer reaction to retail advertisements. He hypothesized that individuals’ negative or positive images related to these three source components and familiarity of them would exert varying degrees of influence on their reaction to newspaper ads. The results showed that the brand name and the retail store, but not newspaper, had main effects on individuals’ evaluation of the newspaper ads and that the brand name and the retail store had interactive effects. Barnes concluded that individuals’ reaction is most strongly affected by the source components that individuals believe to be responsible for the product and

Authors: Kim, Hyojin. and Stephens, Keri.
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source is constructed differs for each individual at every moment: Which component of the
source individuals draw on depends upon individuals’ characteristics, such as individuals’
familiarity of a particular source component (Barnes, 1978; Fuchs, 1964; Hansen, 1972). The
broad definition of source was widely adopted by source researchers, who compared credibility
of media, organization, and individuals (e.g., experts) as a source of information (Klemm, Iding,
& Speitel, 2001; Marquart & O’Keefe, 1995; Reagan, 1996). We also adopt this definition
because Internet users refer to various components of a source (e.g., the Web, a Web site
sponsor, an author of specific content) as an information source.
A few studies have provided empirical evidence on the effects of different source
components. Fuchs (1964), for example, tested the “balance theory” by assessing participants’
changes in attitude toward a product as a result of varying levels of prestige of a company (the
originator) and a magazine in which the company advertised the product (the channel). The
balance theory, based on principle of congruity, posits that initial attitude toward an object is
adjusted by attitude toward the other object that is linked to the former object by a “semantic
assertion.” This theory leads to a prediction that individuals will change their attitude toward a
product after they were exposed to an ad by a high vs. low prestige company in a high vs. low
prestige magazine. Although Fuchs did not find interactive effects of the company and the
magazine, he confirmed independent prestige effects of the company and the magazine.
Based on a similar concept of source components, Barnes (1978) examined effects of a
manufacturer’s brand, retail store, and newspaper on consumer reaction to retail advertisements.
He hypothesized that individuals’ negative or positive images related to these three source
components and familiarity of them would exert varying degrees of influence on their reaction to
newspaper ads. The results showed that the brand name and the retail store, but not newspaper,
had main effects on individuals’ evaluation of the newspaper ads and that the brand name and the
retail store had interactive effects. Barnes concluded that individuals’ reaction is most strongly
affected by the source components that individuals believe to be responsible for the product and


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