All Academic, Inc. Research Logo

Info/CitationFAQResearchAll Academic Inc.
Document

Effects of User Control and Perceived Message Tailoring on Responses to a Health Web Site
Unformatted Document Text:  12 Discussion This study finds that the interactivity of a computer-based system can affect users’ perceptions of the information it provides, when the system (1) enables user control or when it (2) delivers information that the user perceives to be tailored. When user control is high the user is able to select personally relevant content, and when message tailoring is implied (not actually present) the system seems to select (but does not actually select) personally relevant content for the user. The findings include: (1) User control is associated with a desire for extensive content, presumably because the user can be more selective of content and as a result wants plenty of options. Future research should explore this process more fully. (2) User control is associated with higher quality ratings of the interface. Participants in the User control group were well aware of and pleased with the user control afforded by a menu of links to content. In open-ended responses, without prompting from the questionnaire, they mentioned their enjoyment of this interactive feature of the web site. (3) Perceived message tailoring can be manipulated and observed. By giving the appearance of message tailoring (presenting relevant assessment questions before displaying information related to those questions), interactive systems can lead some users to believe that the information they see is indeed tailored to them individually. This has important ramifications for the design of persuasive messages (see Fogg, 2002) and educational programs, and for the design of conversational interactive characters and software agents. For example, a potential benefit would occur if perceived tailoring motivated and involved reluctant learners, causing them to process information more deeply or pay closer attention to a virtual character because the messages appeared to be tailored. But there is also the potential for abuse, and there are serious ethical concerns as well, when considering how people might be duped into believing that information is personally relevant and important for them specifically, when in actuality it is not. (4) Perceived message tailoring is associated with higher ratings of content quality. More research should be done to explain this finding. It may be due to a “halo effect” in which perceptions of the high quality of system interactivity are also attributed to the content itself. Or, it may be that users develop a strong sense of trust in information they perceive the system to have selected on the basis of relevant personal information they provided at the beginning. Previous research has found that tailored messages are more likely to be processed deeply, remembered, and discussed with others (Kreuter et al., 2000) and studies of interpersonal communication find that people tend to like and feel more positive about people who are conversationally competent (Chen, 1995). These related findings provide some clues to help explain why the Tailored group gave higher quality ratings to content they saw presented in a more interactive, dynamic way than did the Non-tailored group. (5) Perceived message tailoring is associated with higher ratings of content informativeness. The Tailored group rated highly the web site’s content quality (see 4 above) and informativeness, two related findings. It could be that the Tailored group perceived the stress management information to be more personally relevant than did the Non-tailored group (recall that we found no group differences in perceived personal relevance, but only a few people commented about this in their open-ended responses). If so, then the Tailored group may have processed that information more deeply and compared it more to their own experiences, according to the Elaboration Likelihood Model (Petty & Cacciopo, 1986). As a result, they may have remembered more of the content

Authors: Lieberman, Debra., Lingsweiler, Ryan., Yao, Mike. and Chesler, Zachary.
first   previous   Page 12 of 16   next   last



background image
12
Discussion

This study finds that the interactivity of a computer-based system can affect users’ perceptions of the
information it provides, when the system (1) enables user control or when it (2) delivers information that
the user perceives to be tailored. When user control is high the user is able to select personally relevant
content, and when message tailoring is implied (not actually present) the system seems to select (but does
not actually select) personally relevant content for the user.

The findings include:
(1) User control is associated with a desire for extensive content, presumably because the user can be
more selective of content and as a result wants plenty of options. Future research should explore
this process more fully.
(2) User control is associated with higher quality ratings of the interface. Participants in the User
control group were well aware of and pleased with the user control afforded by a menu of links to
content. In open-ended responses, without prompting from the questionnaire, they mentioned
their enjoyment of this interactive feature of the web site.
(3) Perceived message tailoring can be manipulated and observed. By giving the appearance of
message tailoring (presenting relevant assessment questions before displaying information related
to those questions), interactive systems can lead some users to believe that the information they
see is indeed tailored to them individually. This has important ramifications for the design of
persuasive messages (see Fogg, 2002) and educational programs, and for the design of
conversational interactive characters and software agents. For example, a potential benefit would
occur if perceived tailoring motivated and involved reluctant learners, causing them to process
information more deeply or pay closer attention to a virtual character because the messages
appeared to be tailored. But there is also the potential for abuse, and there are serious ethical
concerns as well, when considering how people might be duped into believing that information is
personally relevant and important for them specifically, when in actuality it is not.
(4) Perceived message tailoring is associated with higher ratings of content quality. More research
should be done to explain this finding. It may be due to a “halo effect” in which perceptions of
the high quality of system interactivity are also attributed to the content itself. Or, it may be that
users develop a strong sense of trust in information they perceive the system to have selected on
the basis of relevant personal information they provided at the beginning. Previous research has
found that tailored messages are more likely to be processed deeply, remembered, and discussed
with others (Kreuter et al., 2000) and studies of interpersonal communication find that people
tend to like and feel more positive about people who are conversationally competent (Chen,
1995). These related findings provide some clues to help explain why the Tailored group gave
higher quality ratings to content they saw presented in a more interactive, dynamic way than did
the Non-tailored group.
(5) Perceived message tailoring is associated with higher ratings of content informativeness. The
Tailored group rated highly the web site’s content quality (see 4 above) and informativeness, two
related findings. It could be that the Tailored group perceived the stress management information
to be more personally relevant than did the Non-tailored group (recall that we found no group
differences in perceived personal relevance, but only a few people commented about this in their
open-ended responses). If so, then the Tailored group may have processed that information more
deeply and compared it more to their own experiences, according to the Elaboration Likelihood
Model (Petty & Cacciopo, 1986). As a result, they may have remembered more of the content


Convention
All Academic Convention can solve the abstract management needs for any association's annual meeting.
Submission - Custom fields, multiple submission types, tracks, audio visual, multiple upload formats, automatic conversion to pdf.
Review - Peer Review, Bulk reviewer assignment, bulk emails, ranking, z-score statistics, and multiple worksheets!
Reports - Many standard and custom reports generated while you wait. Print programs with participant indexes, event grids, and more!
Scheduling - Flexible and convenient grid scheduling within rooms and buildings. Conflict checking and advanced filtering.
Communication - Bulk email tools to help your administrators send reminders and responses. Use form letters, a message center, and much more!
Management - Search tools, duplicate people management, editing tools, submission transfers, many tools to manage a variety of conference management headaches!
Click here for more information.

first   previous   Page 12 of 16   next   last

©2012 All Academic, Inc.