If Internet Credibility is so Iffy, Then Why The Heavy Use? The Relationship Between Medium use and Credibility.
 
Student researcher

Carmen Stavrositu (Graduate Student)
This paper was presented at the 56th annual conference of the International Communication Association, Dresden, Germany, 2006.

Faculty Supervisor

Dr. S. Shyam Sundar

Introduction

The relationship between medium use and credibility has been unexplored.

research question

Just because we use the Internet extensively, does it mean we think it is very credible?

Method

This study uses a large survey (N = 1089)

Results

Results reveal that Internet credibility is predicted by both Internet and newspaper use, as well as by Internet use for information purposes, but not by Internet use for entertainment purposes. One could be using the Internet mostly for entertainment, disregarding the medium’s credibility. Even if one is using the Internet for information, one probably seeks validation and corroboration from more traditional sources such as newspapers. In which case, newspaper use appears to predict both one’s Internet use and perceptions of Internet credibility.

Conclusions

Extensive use the Internet does not necessarily lead to credibility.

For more details regarding the study contact

Dr. S. Shyam Sundar by e-mail at sss12@psu.edu or by telephone at (814) 865-2173

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Media Effects Research Lab at College of Communications, Penn State University