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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:  3 how Web site interactivity affected people’s perceptions of political candidates along the dimensions of caring, trustworthiness, responsiveness, and charisma. Related to the present study, they found that in some instances people rated candidates more trustworthy (often an indicator of credibility) as interactivity levels increased (links available about the candidates). Ketterer (2001), in an experiment exploring the influence of hyperlinks on users’ reactions to Internet news stories, found that readers of crime stories with hyperlinks (compared to those without them) dedicated more time to reading those stories, became more knowledgeable about the information in the stories, and generally considered the stories highly salient. Common to many interactivity studies is an emphasis on the multimodal nature of interactive communication exchanges. That is, several analysts concur that a chief dimension of interactivity in online communication is the degree to which the content uses text, graphics, pictures, animation, sound, and video (e.g., Sims, 1995). Bengtsson, Burgoon, Cederber, Bonito, and Lundeberg (1999), for instance, maintain that the modality aspect of interactivity means "participants have full access to a wide array of environmental, visual, audio, and verbal context cues" (pp. 3). Further, Hutheesing (1993) argues that interactive media are often thought of as “mechanisms for delivering image, text and sound data in which the user interacts with the database” (Hutheesing, 1993, p. 244). Within advertising domains, Stern (1994) writes that interactive advertising is "a dialogue between human and machine, based on digital streams of video, audio text, and graphics" (online). As a consequence, this study operationalizes interactivity in terms of multimedia content in order to isolate the impact of this core

Authors: Kiousis, Spiro.
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how Web site interactivity affected people’s perceptions of political candidates along the
dimensions of caring, trustworthiness, responsiveness, and charisma. Related to the
present study, they found that in some instances people rated candidates more trustworthy
(often an indicator of credibility) as interactivity levels increased (links available about
the candidates). Ketterer (2001), in an experiment exploring the influence of hyperlinks
on users’ reactions to Internet news stories, found that readers of crime stories with
hyperlinks (compared to those without them) dedicated more time to reading those
stories, became more knowledgeable about the information in the stories, and generally
considered the stories highly salient.
Common to many interactivity studies is an emphasis on the multimodal nature of
interactive communication exchanges. That is, several analysts concur that a chief
dimension of interactivity in online communication is the degree to which the content
uses text, graphics, pictures, animation, sound, and video (e.g., Sims, 1995). Bengtsson,
Burgoon, Cederber, Bonito, and Lundeberg (1999), for instance, maintain that the
modality aspect of interactivity means "participants have full access to a wide array of
environmental, visual, audio, and verbal context cues" (pp. 3). Further, Hutheesing
(1993) argues that interactive media are often thought of as “mechanisms for delivering
image, text and sound data in which the user interacts with the database” (Hutheesing,
1993, p. 244). Within advertising domains, Stern (1994) writes that interactive
advertising is "a dialogue between human and machine, based on digital streams of video,
audio text, and graphics" (online). As a consequence, this study operationalizes
interactivity in terms of multimedia content in order to isolate the impact of this core


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