Title: Effects of online credibility and reputation mechanisms on perceived trust and health decision making.
Presented by: Drew Link
Committee Chair: Leo Gugerty
Committee: Richard Pak, James McCubbin
Details: Monday, February 11th at 10:00 am in 419 Brackett
Reputation mechanisms and credibility are methods of adding additional information to forum posts, and are becoming more commonplace in online health forums. These systems provide users of forums additional information which can be used to evaluate the trustworthiness of the information being disseminated in community-run websites. The goal of the following studies was twofold. First, it was necessary to identify which elements of credibility and reputation mechanisms participants use to make assessments of the trustworthiness, perceived believability, and perceived accuracy of answers to health-related questions on a simulated web forum. The second study will explore how high and low overall reputation affects decisions in a non-compensatory decision-making task. Results from the first study suggested strong main effects of comment and author reputation ratings, and a small main effect of author credibility. With the addition of each credibility and reputation mechanism to the second study, results from the second study indicated that participants both perceived the credibility and reputation ratings and also made decisions based on that manipulation. Pairings of high credibility with different levels of utilities in a non-compensatory decision-making task showed a significant and strong main effect in the frequency of selecting options based on high credibility and reputation, and there was also a strong main effect of high credibility alternative selection with ratings of confidence.
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