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Believe it or not: Factors influencing credibility on the Web



This article reviews selected literature related to the credibility of information, including (1) the general markers of credibility, and how different source, message and receiver characteristics affect people's perceptions of information; (2) the impact of information medium on the assessment of credibility; and (3) the assessment of credibility in the context of information presented on the Internet. The objective of the literature review is to synthesize the current state of knowledge in this area, develop new ways to think about how people interact with information presented via the Internet, and suggest next steps for research and practical applications. The review examines empirical evidence, key reviews, and descriptive material related to credibility in general, and in terms of on-line media. A general discussion of credibility and persuasion and a description of recent work on the credibility and persuasiveness of computer-based applications is presented. Finally, the article synthesizes what we have learned from various fields, and proposes a model as a framework for much-needed future research in this area.