Trusting the Internet: Cues Affecting Perceived Credibility

Trusting the Internet: Cues Affecting Perceived Credibility

Michael S. Wogalter (North Carolina State University, USA) and Christopher B. Mayhorn (North Carolina State University, USA)
Copyright: © 2008 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/jthi.2008010105


Positive beliefs about the validity and reliability of website information are important for users and the success of a site. Users may use these beliefs in making judgments about the veracity of the informational content that they encounter on the Internet. This research examined several components associated with Web sites that could affect credibility beliefs about Web site information: domain suffixes (e.g., .com, .edu), quality seals, and organizations/domain names. Two studies were carried out involving a total of 433 participants. One had 247 participants (171 undergraduates and 76 non-student adults) and the other had 186 participants (89 undergraduates and 97 non-students). Results indicated that participants who reported spending greater time on the Internet showed significantly higher trust ratings on several components than those who reported spending less time on the Internet. Participants had difficulty discriminating between actual and fictitious quality seals and organization/domain names, with several fictitious ones judged as or more trustworthy than actual ones.

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