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Abstract

This study examined the effects on users of two forms of interactivity commonly found on political candidate campaign Web sites in the 2002 U.S. House election cycle. The first form, campaign-to-user interactivity, focuses on features or mechanisms used to enable or facilitate communication between site users and the campaign. The second form, text-based interactivity, focuses on how site content is verbally and visually expressed. Study participants viewed one of four versions of either a Democratic or Republican campaign website. Both text-based and campaign-to-user interactivity increased the amount of time users spent on the site and their accurate recall of candidates' issue stances. The co-occurrence of both forms of interactivity, however, showed a noticeably lower level of issue recall, confirming earlier findings that too much interactivity can interfere with user recall of site content.