Credibility: Week 4 – Question 1

Q1)  The author of this week’s article (Fogg) discussed credibility as a key attribute to evaluate online resources. In your own words, describe why it is important that we evaluate credibility of websites. In your discussion, provide an example of how credibility of the Web resources could affect you as a student (200 – 250 words).

The evaluation of websites to ascertain the credibility of a source, object or process is important to establish the level of knowledge, skill and experience in relation to the information a user is presented with. Epping & Wilder (2011) define credibility as “constellations of judgments that message recipients make about the believability of a communicator.” There is a number of considerations which are to be taken into account when a sense of credibility is established. Fogg (2003) states a users view on the perceived level of credibility is increased with high levels of trust and expertise. Users construct a sense of trust based on the feeling of reliability, dependability and confidence a user of which can be increased if a website highlights the organisation behind the information. Thus, it is important, as a student to establish the credibility of a source in assessing if the information provided is accurate. When completing assignments the inclusion of sources that are not credible may cause a task to appear inaccurate or to be lacking reliability and thus influences the support of a student’s argument, which a reference is intended to supply. Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab (2004) suggests author’s credentials and affiliations influence credibility. Thus, it is important when assessing credibility as student that expertise within the relevant field of study is considered but also that it is recent and relevant.

 References:

Epping, L. L., & Wilder, W. M. (2011). Factors impacting the credibility of website disclosures. Journal of Financial Reporting and Accounting, 9(1), 27-46. doi:10.1108/19852511111139787

Fogg, B. J. (2003). Credibility and the World Wide Web. In Persuasive Technology: Using Computers  to Change What We Think and Do (pp. 122‐125). Amsterdam: Morgan Kaufmann  Publishers

Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab. (2004) Stanford web credibility research. Retrieved from http://credibility.stanford.edu/guidelines/index.html

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