University of Twente Student Theses


Different users-Different support? Support systems for the evaluation of credibility and the role of familiarity

Schulze, L.F. (2011) Different users-Different support? Support systems for the evaluation of credibility and the role of familiarity.

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Abstract:Open access encyclopedias such as Wikipedia have gained an increasing importance for the information search in the past ten years. Both, the amount of information provided and number of users have increased with the growing importance of the World Wide Web (WWW). Every user has the opportunity to upload information. This huge amount of unsupervised information leads to problems with the evaluation of its credibility. Regular users have to distinguish between information concerning its credibility. This distinction asks skills from regular users they mostly do not have developed completely. Support systems can help users evaluating the credibility of information. The purpose of this study was to examine the relation of familiarity of users with a topic, its influence on the users´ method of evaluating credibility and two different support systems. One support system incorporated surface features as an indicator for credibility. The other support system used semantic comparisons with other websites as an indicator for credibility. Fourty academic psychology students were divided in two groups. One group got familiar topics of the presented articles and the other group got unfamiliar articles. Both groups evaluated five Wikipedia articles. The articles were presented with either positive or negative advice of one of the support systems and for the last article participants chose one support system. A questionnaire which asked trust evaluations about the article and the presented support system as well as the influence of the advice was completed by the participants after each article. Participants were asked to give motivations for their answers. The unfamiliar group showed significantly more trust and influence of the support system which incorporated surface features as an indicator for credibility than by a support system which used semantic comparisons. The familiar group showed no significant differences between the two support systems. Users who differ in their familiarity with a topic incorporate different elements of information to evaluate credibility. Support systems that incorporate the same features as the users in their evaluation of credibility were trusted more and had more influence.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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