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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:  6 Germane research in interpersonal CMC suggests that participation could impact people’s perceptions of online news, especially those connected to credibility. Specifically, social information processing theory posits that the more time people spend communicating with one another online, the more that differences in their perceptions of others — compared to people communicating face-to-face — fade (Walther, 1992). Embedded in such discussions is the assumption that active participation in virtual environments, over time, makes individuals more comfortable with online communication. As such, participation seems to be to be a central factor in enhancing people's trust of others in CMC (e.g., Walther & Burgoon, 1992). For example, when summarizing the work of Jarvenpaa, Knoll, and Leidner (1998) looking at group trust in CMC, Wallace (1999) shows the impact of participation by noting that: the members of one of the teams that developed a high level of trust exchanged messages frequently, and they all showed optimism, excitement, and a clear orientation toward the task and project goals...By contrast, a team that failed miserably had members who were infrequent and noncommittal communicators (pp. 85; emphasis added). Likewise, we might expect similar increases with the trust of online news among people who actively use multimedia content. In addition to CMC, the basic idea that participation increases perceived credibility is supported by research probing other modes of communication. Bonito, Burgoon, Ramirez, and Dunbar (2000), found that people who were participants in FTF communication attributed higher levels of credibility to sources of messages than observers of those exchanges. In fact, the amount of participation in any form of communication is thought to dramatically affect people's perceptions and judgments concerning those communication exchanges (Clark & Carlson, 1982). Applying similar

Authors: Kiousis, Spiro.
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6
Germane research in interpersonal CMC suggests that participation could impact
people’s perceptions of online news, especially those connected to credibility.
Specifically, social information processing theory posits that the more time people spend
communicating with one another online, the more that differences in their perceptions of
others — compared to people communicating face-to-face — fade (Walther, 1992).
Embedded in such discussions is the assumption that active participation in virtual
environments, over time, makes individuals more comfortable with online
communication. As such, participation seems to be to be a central factor in enhancing
people's trust of others in CMC (e.g., Walther & Burgoon, 1992). For example, when
summarizing the work of Jarvenpaa, Knoll, and Leidner (1998) looking at group trust in
CMC, Wallace (1999) shows the impact of participation by noting that:
the members of one of the teams that developed a high level of trust
exchanged messages frequently, and they all showed optimism, excitement,
and a clear orientation toward the task and project goals...By contrast, a
team that failed miserably had members who were infrequent and
noncommittal communicators (pp. 85; emphasis added).
Likewise, we might expect similar increases with the trust of online news among people
who actively use multimedia content.
In addition to CMC, the basic idea that participation increases perceived
credibility is supported by research probing other modes of communication. Bonito,
Burgoon, Ramirez, and Dunbar (2000), found that people who were participants in FTF
communication attributed higher levels of credibility to sources of messages than
observers of those exchanges. In fact, the amount of participation in any form of
communication is thought to dramatically affect people's perceptions and judgments
concerning those communication exchanges (Clark & Carlson, 1982). Applying similar


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