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A Moderating Role of Channel Responsiveness in the Effects of Online Information Source
Unformatted Document Text:  6 the source, the meta-analysis showed that the largest effect on attitude and/or behavior change was associated with expertise of source. In this study, we are interested in the effects of credibility of the originator of online health information. Similar to Straughan et al.’s (1996) study, we examine the effects of credibility of originators with a commercial vs. non-commercial intent (i.e., government source). Research has shown that when the information was identified as coming from a commercial source, individuals’ evaluation of the information and behavior intention were significantly more negative than when the information was provided by non-commercial source or when the source was not identified (Flanagin & Metzger, 2000b; Reid, Soley, & Vanden Bergh, 1981). Therefore, we hypothesize that a government source is more influential than a commercial source on individuals’ attitude toward the online health information and health behavior intentions. We expect that individuals will value credibility attributed to the government source when evaluating health information, which has a high personal relevance. Drawing on the balance theory (Fuchs, 1964), we also hypothesize that individuals’ reaction to the source is carried over to the information channel, the Web site. Hence, favorable (unfavorable) attitude toward the information channel will result when consumers have favorable (unfavorable) attitude toward the source. H1a-H1c: Individuals will have more favorable attitude toward health information (H1a), health behavior intentions (H1b), and attitude toward the Web site (H1c) when they receive the information from a government source vs. a commercial source. MODERATING EFFECTS OF RESPONSINVESS Research has indicated that the magnitude of source effects is dependent of a few factors. According to Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM, Petty & Cacioppo, 1986), effects of source depend on individuals’ involvement with a message or personal relevance of a message to individuals. When an individual is highly involved, he or she is less likely to pay attention to a message source (e.g., endorser), but tend more to elaborate the content of the message, paying

Authors: Kim, Hyojin. and Stephens, Keri.
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the source, the meta-analysis showed that the largest effect on attitude and/or behavior change
was associated with expertise of source.
In this study, we are interested in the effects of credibility of the originator of online
health information. Similar to Straughan et al.’s (1996) study, we examine the effects of
credibility of originators with a commercial vs. non-commercial intent (i.e., government source).
Research has shown that when the information was identified as coming from a commercial
source, individuals’ evaluation of the information and behavior intention were significantly more
negative than when the information was provided by non-commercial source or when the source
was not identified (Flanagin & Metzger, 2000b; Reid, Soley, & Vanden Bergh, 1981).
Therefore, we hypothesize that a government source is more influential than a commercial
source on individuals’ attitude toward the online health information and health behavior
intentions. We expect that individuals will value credibility attributed to the government source
when evaluating health information, which has a high personal relevance. Drawing on the
balance theory (Fuchs, 1964), we also hypothesize that individuals’ reaction to the source is
carried over to the information channel, the Web site. Hence, favorable (unfavorable) attitude
toward the information channel will result when consumers have favorable (unfavorable) attitude
toward the source.
H1a-H1c: Individuals will have more favorable attitude toward health information (H1a),
health behavior intentions (H1b), and attitude toward the Web site (H1c) when they receive the
information from a government source vs. a commercial source.
MODERATING EFFECTS OF RESPONSINVESS
Research has indicated that the magnitude of source effects is dependent of a few factors.
According to Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM, Petty & Cacioppo, 1986), effects of source
depend on individuals’ involvement with a message or personal relevance of a message to
individuals. When an individual is highly involved, he or she is less likely to pay attention to a
message source (e.g., endorser), but tend more to elaborate the content of the message, paying


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