Abstract: In a between-subjects eye-tracking experiment, adult readers of a large metropolitan daily newspaper (N=70) viewed and evaluated one of two versions of the same online news feature: one with an embedded 360-degree video alongside text and images, and the other using exclusively text and static images. Findings show that the presence of 360-degree video increased attitudes toward the article, article credibility, and visual attention to article content, but did not significantly affect recall of the story. The study also shows that individuals higher in technology anxiety were less likely to experience gains in enjoyment and credibility due to format, and that such gains were mediated by spatial presence. Implications for journalism practitioners about uses of 360-degree video alongside text articles are discussed.
Topic: online news
Can we prime users to verify information? A study of visual attention to page cues and information search in response to online misinformation styled as news.
ABSTRACT: Misinformation that borrows from the design conventions of online news, often called simply “fake news,” is intentionally misleading and deceptive information packaged and disseminated in such a way that it mimics legitimate news (Tandoc, Lim, & Ling, 2018). The spread of misinformation styled as news is not only troublesome in the context journalism, but also hints at larger issues regarding how easily misinformation can be spread.
This study examines the extent to which consumers follow suggestions given to them to help detect misinformation online, and the influence of these suggestions and their subsequent evaluation strategies on their credibility assessments and confidence in those judgments. In a between-subjects laboratory experiment, news consumers were presented with two different intervention strategies prior to their viewing and evaluating an online article that made some unfounded claims about the role of genetically modified insects in the spread of the Zika virus. Results showed that while most participants attempted to verify the claims through researching information, they were not able to accurately detect that the article was not true.
How users rely on heuristics and emotions to form credibility impressions of novel online news articles.
ABSTRACT: Social media and other online platforms are increasingly the way consumers access news articles, which increases the likelihood of users visiting articles from sources they may not have visited on their own. Users of these platforms experience a tension between their tendency to focus resources on processing information rather than credibility assessment. In a within-subjects laboratory experiment, two sets of unobtrusive psychophysiological measures to examine the role of visual attention to page elements and discrete negative emotions in influencing participants’ (N=40) snapshot or “first impression” credibility judgments of 30 online news articles ranging widely in source and topic. The results suggest that for most participants, discrete emotions do not play a primary role in the evaluation process, and participants primarily pay attention to content-specific cues (headline, lead image) over source-credibility cues (publisher name, author/date information, and URL) in forming their initial assessments.