Trust Online: Young Adults’ Evaluation of Web Content

A recent study published in the International Journal of Communication (IJOC) would appear to indicate that digital natives do not have much, if any, understanding of Web searching — placing their trust unquestioningly, it seems, in Google or other brand-name search engines or websites:

Trust Online: Young Adults’ Evaluation of Web Content

Abstract:

Little of the work on online credibility assessment has considered how the information-seeking process figures into the final evaluation of content people encounter. Using unique data about how a diverse group of young adults looks for and evaluates Web content, our paper makes contributions to existing literature by highlighting factors beyond site features in how users assess credibility. We find that the process by which users arrive at a site is an important component of how they judge the final destination. In particular, search context, branding and routines, and a reliance on those in one’s networks play important roles in online information-seeking and evaluation. We also discuss that users differ considerably in their skills when it comes to judging online content credibility.

Hat tip to ResourceShelf.com.

Cross-posted on Law Library Blog.

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