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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:  20 perceived message credibility. Despite little support, it should again be noted that when the participation factor was entered into the model for perceived source credibility (as reported earlier), interaction effects were observed for interactivity and source identification, and for source identification and participation. No relationships were present for perceived message credibility when including the participation factor. Discussion Implications In summary, this study attempted to ascertain the effects of interactivity and source identification on people’s perceptions of credibility for an online news story. Overall, the data showed that these variables did not have an effect on credibility, unless participants actually used the interactive content that was available in certain versions of the story. The influence was strongest in the case of perceived source than message credibility, but both showed at least moderate effects. Most of the relationships remained robust even when controlling for several other variables in the ANCOVA analyses. The lack of even minimal effects for simple exposure may have been fueled partially by the manipulation of the independent variables. For example, when it came to source identification, having a story byline present or not present may have been too subtle of a cue for viewers to pick up on when reading news stories. Alternatively, the research assistants could have informed the users of whether there was a source or not, but we felt this would bring unnecessary artificiality to the experiment, though we do acknowledge that some control was sacrificed. Likewise, the multimedia manipulation could have been stronger by including additional elements, such as a sound player, animations, and multiple video players. A different explanation for the lack of influence

Authors: Kiousis, Spiro.
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perceived message credibility. Despite little support, it should again be noted that when
the participation factor was entered into the model for perceived source credibility (as
reported earlier), interaction effects were observed for interactivity and source
identification, and for source identification and participation. No relationships were
present for perceived message credibility when including the participation factor.
Discussion
Implications
In summary, this study attempted to ascertain the effects of interactivity and source
identification on people’s perceptions of credibility for an online news story. Overall, the
data showed that these variables did not have an effect on credibility, unless participants
actually used the interactive content that was available in certain versions of the story.
The influence was strongest in the case of perceived source than message credibility, but
both showed at least moderate effects. Most of the relationships remained robust even
when controlling for several other variables in the ANCOVA analyses.
The lack of even minimal effects for simple exposure may have been fueled
partially by the manipulation of the independent variables. For example, when it came to
source identification, having a story byline present or not present may have been too
subtle of a cue for viewers to pick up on when reading news stories. Alternatively, the
research assistants could have informed the users of whether there was a source or not,
but we felt this would bring unnecessary artificiality to the experiment, though we do
acknowledge that some control was sacrificed. Likewise, the multimedia manipulation
could have been stronger by including additional elements, such as a sound player,
animations, and multiple video players. A different explanation for the lack of influence


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