On other hand, when individuals perceive government sources to have lower credibility and citizen groups to have higher credibility, they are more likely to systematically process messages, which is a predictor of greater risk perceptions when citizen groups share alarming information (Trumbo & McComas, 2003). Finally, using multiple media channels, including a website with up-to-date, honest, and accurate risk information, can also help increase trust in the information source and help the public stay informed during a health risk or health crisis situation (Heath & O’Hair, 2009). CREDIBILITY. Encyclopedia.com: Provides reference entries from credible, published sources like Oxford University Press and Columbia Encyclopedia and free access to nearly 200,000 reference entries from sources you can cite. Surface-level source cues such as attractiveness of the source are often used to guide evaluation when individuals are heuristically processing information. Characteristics of the information seeker or receiver, such as past experience with an information source, self-efficacy, and prior experience with the Internet (Flanagin & Metzger, 2007; Hocevar, Flanagin, & Metzger, 2014; Rieh & Danielson, 2007) have been found to influence credibility perceptions in the online context. While research indicates that few information seekers actually use such a checklist approach or systematically evaluate Web-based information using all these criteria (Flanagin & Metzger, 2000, 2007), the criteria do indicate again that it can be difficult to disentangle characteristics that are tied to the source versus the message when forming credibility judgements, particularly in the online environment. Specifically, this model suggests that four technological affordances of digital media, or capabilities possessed by digital media that enable certain actions, can cue cognitive heuristics that influence credibility perceptions. This suggests that the social community of sources and seekers of online health information may have a powerful effect on perceptions of the credibility of any health information shared, even when that information is shared by a patient rather than a physician. How do patients evaluate and make use of online health information? Other scholars have similarly differentiated between the accuracy of information and its perceived credibility, specifying that credibility is perceptual rather than a direct measure of information accuracy (Fogg & Tseng, 1999; Freeman & Spyridakis, 2004; Metzger & Flanagin, 2015). Both models suggest that an individual’s motivation and ability will influence which type of processing he or she uses when considering an argument or message. While the source of a message is classically thought of as the originator or author of communication, psychologically, a source is whoever the information receiver or evaluator perceives the source to be (see Sundar & Nass, 2001). For example, source expertise has more impact on attitudes when message comprehension is low (Ratneshwar & Chaiken, 1991). For example, people higher in need for cognition and lower in trust for others tend to be more concerned about the credibility of (general) online information (Metzger et al., 2011). Research in online health information seeking and evaluation also indicates that people are more likely to seek out, positively evaluate, and select information from online health information sharing communities (e.g., fellow sufferers) using heuristic cues of perceived similarity with the health information sources even if they do not know them personally offline (Sillence, Briggs, Harris, & Fishwick, 2007). This can leave health information seekers to pass judgement on health messages based on potentially scarce or difficult to interpret information. Enlisting the help of additional credible sources, such as physicians or members of the healthcare system, can also help when disseminating risk messages. In addition to learning how to recognize patterns and underlying causes advancing adversity, administrators would do well to invest in long-term conflict diminishing approaches such as building trust and improving interpersonal and organizational capacity as ways to increase credibility within and outside of the school itself. In one of the foundational works that has framed most studies of credibility, source credibility is posited to consist of perceptions of source trustworthiness and expertise (Hovland, Janis, & Kelley, 1953). However, while the HSM initially posited that high levels of this “accuracy motivation” would lead to more effortful systematic processing, later versions of the model have suggested that in many situations other motivations may interact with or even override any need to be objectively correct or accurate in one’s assessment of information (see Chaiken et al., 1996). (Year of … Founded in 1768, The Encyclopedia Britannica is a general knowledge English-language encyclopedia. However, how we understand and define source credibility—particularly the dimension of expertise—has changed dramatically as social media and other online platforms are increasingly used to design and disseminate health messages. This suggests that communities that share health information or personal health experiences online, whether for social support or educational purposes, may impact information seekers even if they lack significant content from credentialed sources. Other research has also found that while individuals tend to say that source credibility is important to health information selection, observation of information search behavior suggests that source credibility cues are sought relatively infrequently (Eysenbach & Kohler, 2002). What these cues are, and how they may influence selection decisions in concert with other cues, has not been studied.
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