Ohio State University (OSU) researchers suggest that when people are offered the option to "like" an online article, they spend less time actually reading it.
The team gauged 235 college students' attitudes on four issues—abortion, welfare benefits, gun control, and affirmative action—then showed them four versions of a news website, each tailored for one subject.
Each webpage featured headlines and tje first paragraphs for four articles, with alternating conservative and liberal slants.
Participants spent about 7% less time reading articles on controversial subjects when they had the opportunity to vote on them than if there was no interactive component, especially when articles followed their point of view.
Their attitudes toward such topics were amplified after voting on articles that conformed with their views, even when they spent less time reading the text.
OSU's Daniel Sude said, "Rather than increasing engagement with website content, having the ability to interact may actually distract from it."
From Ohio State News
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