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A Moderating Role of Channel Responsiveness in the Effects of Online Information Source
Unformatted Document Text:  7 close attention to core message arguments. When an individual’s involvement is low, however, a message source or other “peripheral cues” tend to drive his or her attention to the message. The prediction of ELM is found be consistently supported in a meta-analysis (Wilson & Sherrel, 1993). Other factors that are believed to moderate the effects of source include individuals’ knowledge of the content (Eastin, 2001) and type of the content (Austin & Dong, 1994) although moderating effects of these factors are yet to be confirmed. A moderating factor we are interested in investigating in this study is interactivity of the information channel (i.e., the Internet or the Web site). Interactivity is a particularly relevant factor for information provided on the Internet because it distinguishes the channel from other modes of mediated communication. Definition of interactivity is offered by a number of researchers in many disciplines. The definition that we adopt for this study is one developed in the discipline of interpersonal communication, of which interactivity is an assumed characteristic (Burgoon, Bonito, Bengtsoon, Ramirez, Dunbar, & Miczo, 1999-2000; Wu, 1999). Scholars in interpersonal communication use face-to-face communication as a standard of interactivity and evaluate interactivity of mediated communication in terms of how closely it simulates face-to-face communication (Burgoon et al., 1999-2000; Burgoon, Buller & Floyd, 2001; Ha & James, 1998; Walther & Burgoon, 1992). Roehm and Haugtvedt (1999) conceptualized interactivity as “some level of real-time dialogue in which the involved entities (human or otherwise) play both the role of sender and receiver of information at some point in the dialogue” (p. 32). Further applied in a business context, they likened interactivity as conversation between a salesperson and a customer. Similarly, Haeckel (1998) viewed interactivity as “a person-to-person or person-to-technology exchange designed to affect changes in the knowledge or behavior of at least one person,” whereas Cho and Leckenby (1997) explained interactivity in terms of human-human interaction and human-message interaction. Cho and Leckenby maintained that human-machine interaction

Authors: Kim, Hyojin. and Stephens, Keri.
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close attention to core message arguments. When an individual’s involvement is low, however,
a message source or other “peripheral cues” tend to drive his or her attention to the message.
The prediction of ELM is found be consistently supported in a meta-analysis (Wilson & Sherrel,
1993). Other factors that are believed to moderate the effects of source include individuals’
knowledge of the content (Eastin, 2001) and type of the content (Austin & Dong, 1994) although
moderating effects of these factors are yet to be confirmed.
A moderating factor we are interested in investigating in this study is interactivity of the
information channel (i.e., the Internet or the Web site). Interactivity is a particularly relevant
factor for information provided on the Internet because it distinguishes the channel from other
modes of mediated communication.
Definition of interactivity is offered by a number of researchers in many disciplines. The
definition that we adopt for this study is one developed in the discipline of interpersonal
communication, of which interactivity is an assumed characteristic (Burgoon, Bonito,
Bengtsoon, Ramirez, Dunbar, & Miczo, 1999-2000; Wu, 1999). Scholars in interpersonal
communication use face-to-face communication as a standard of interactivity and evaluate
interactivity of mediated communication in terms of how closely it simulates face-to-face
communication (Burgoon et al., 1999-2000; Burgoon, Buller & Floyd, 2001; Ha & James, 1998;
Walther & Burgoon, 1992).
Roehm and Haugtvedt (1999) conceptualized interactivity as “some level of real-time
dialogue in which the involved entities (human or otherwise) play both the role of sender and
receiver of information at some point in the dialogue” (p. 32). Further applied in a business
context, they likened interactivity as conversation between a salesperson and a customer.
Similarly, Haeckel (1998) viewed interactivity as “a person-to-person or person-to-technology
exchange designed to affect changes in the knowledge or behavior of at least one person,”
whereas Cho and Leckenby (1997) explained interactivity in terms of human-human interaction
and human-message interaction. Cho and Leckenby maintained that human-machine interaction


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