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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:  23 Different types of sources should also be investigated with respect to their influence on perceived credibility. Sundar and Nass’ (2001) typology would be helpful for such endeavors. Studies across different media channels, such as newspapers, television, etc., would also greatly enhance knowledge concerning the effects of sources in mediated communication. The distinction between source and message credibility also seems germane given that the data showed different impacts on these two dependent variables, though they obviously are related. Future research may want to expand on this study by looking at effects on channel credibility as well. Again, an experiment probing the same news story across different media channels would also be ideal for such efforts. Study Limitations Even with its implications, this study did possess some limitations. First, as discussed earlier, the manipulation of the independent variables could have been stronger. However, we attempted to keep the story structure and format as close to how online news sites convey stories. Thus, having four video players or picture galleries would have made the manipulation more obvious, but not been as representative of what sites are currently doing in terms of Web design. Second, experiments may not offer the most ideal setting to examine how people use the World Wide Web. For example, attention levels of typical Web users were probably not as high as they were in our experiment. Thus, unobtrusive, qualitative approaches could supplement the data from our quantitative analysis. Williams et al. (1988) recommend triangulation for studying new media, an approach we endorse for future research in this area.

Authors: Kiousis, Spiro.
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23
Different types of sources should also be investigated with respect to their
influence on perceived credibility. Sundar and Nass’ (2001) typology would be helpful
for such endeavors. Studies across different media channels, such as newspapers,
television, etc., would also greatly enhance knowledge concerning the effects of sources
in mediated communication.
The distinction between source and message credibility also seems germane given
that the data showed different impacts on these two dependent variables, though they
obviously are related. Future research may want to expand on this study by looking at
effects on channel credibility as well. Again, an experiment probing the same news story
across different media channels would also be ideal for such efforts.
Study Limitations
Even with its implications, this study did possess some limitations. First, as discussed
earlier, the manipulation of the independent variables could have been stronger.
However, we attempted to keep the story structure and format as close to how online
news sites convey stories. Thus, having four video players or picture galleries would
have made the manipulation more obvious, but not been as representative of what sites
are currently doing in terms of Web design.
Second, experiments may not offer the most ideal setting to examine how people
use the World Wide Web. For example, attention levels of typical Web users were
probably not as high as they were in our experiment. Thus, unobtrusive, qualitative
approaches could supplement the data from our quantitative analysis. Williams et al.
(1988) recommend triangulation for studying new media, an approach we endorse for
future research in this area.


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