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Equal Trust: An Experiment Exploring the Impact of Interactivity and Sources on Individuals' Perceptions of Credibility for Online News Stories
Unformatted Document Text:  10 people for their perceptions about "Mao Tse-Tung on Red China’s domestic problems," their concentration was on identified sources. Still, a third possibility involves simply asking people to rate messages themselves in terms of perceived credibility. This approach was taken by Sundar and Nass (2001), who asked people to rate online news stories in terms of credibility (i.e., they were not asked to judge the Internet as a medium, the writers of stories as believable, etc.). For the present study, perceived source and message credibility were monitored, but since all stories were conveyed through a single medium, channel credibility was not assessed. Although credibility is sometimes discussed as a singular concept, most scholars view it multidimensionally. However, several differences emerge regarding specific dimensions of the concept, depending upon whether researchers are concerned with source, channel, or message credibility. For example, Berlo et al. (1970), looking at source credibility, pinpointed safety, qualifications, and dynamism as major factors. McCroskey, Holdridge, and Toomb (1974) offered five dimensions of credibility, including sociability, extroversion, competence, composure, and character. Fogg and Tseng (1998), in a relevant piece on computers and credibility, suggested that believability and trustworthiness are principal indicators. In a comprehensive review of credibility as it relates to medical Web sites, Constantinides and Swenson (2000) underscored the dimensions of competence, trustworthiness, and goodwill. Finally, Meyer (1988), whose emphasis was on channel credibility, located believability and community affiliation as two primary factors. As a result, little consensus has been reached regarding the exact dimensions of credibility, but past research does offer some common measures. For example, Sundar

Authors: Kiousis, Spiro.
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people for their perceptions about "Mao Tse-Tung on Red China’s domestic problems,"
their concentration was on identified sources. Still, a third possibility involves simply
asking people to rate messages themselves in terms of perceived credibility. This
approach was taken by Sundar and Nass (2001), who asked people to rate online news
stories in terms of credibility (i.e., they were not asked to judge the Internet as a medium,
the writers of stories as believable, etc.). For the present study, perceived source and
message credibility were monitored, but since all stories were conveyed through a single
medium, channel credibility was not assessed.
Although credibility is sometimes discussed as a singular concept, most scholars
view it multidimensionally. However, several differences emerge regarding specific
dimensions of the concept, depending upon whether researchers are concerned with
source, channel, or message credibility. For example, Berlo et al. (1970), looking at
source credibility, pinpointed safety, qualifications, and dynamism as major factors.
McCroskey, Holdridge, and Toomb (1974) offered five dimensions of credibility,
including sociability, extroversion, competence, composure, and character. Fogg and
Tseng (1998), in a relevant piece on computers and credibility, suggested that
believability and trustworthiness are principal indicators. In a comprehensive review of
credibility as it relates to medical Web sites, Constantinides and Swenson (2000)
underscored the dimensions of competence, trustworthiness, and goodwill. Finally,
Meyer (1988), whose emphasis was on channel credibility, located believability and
community affiliation as two primary factors.
As a result, little consensus has been reached regarding the exact dimensions of
credibility, but past research does offer some common measures. For example, Sundar


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