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The Role of Motivation in Credibility Evaluations of Online Information

Maas, E.T.A. (2013) The Role of Motivation in Credibility Evaluations of Online Information.

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Abstract:This study set out to explore the role of motivation in credibility evaluations of online information. The experiment conducted to achieve this goal, included successfully manipulating the amount of motivation of participants after which they performed an online information searching task. Activities and thoughts of participants were elicited through screen capture recordings that served as visual cues for a retrospective think-aloud exercise. After performing a template analysis of the verbatim it was found that 'barely motivated' participants did not perform any meaningful credibility evaluations. Conversely, 'strongly motivated' participants showed considerable credibility concerns and performed several credibility evaluations. These credibility evaluations were all of a heuristic nature; no systematic credibility evaluations occurred. Instead, it seems that 'strongly motivated' participants used another heuristic to making systematic credibility evaluations obsolete: 'searching only in scientific search engines'. These results question the extent to which Metzger's proposed dual-processing model of credibility assessment holds ground.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
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