Exploring the credibility of stress management websites
To see what attributes of a stress management website mostly play a role in judging credibility of the websites, and to see whether situational motivation had an impact on credibility judgement, and whether situational motivation plays a role in credibility judgement.
The researcher was interested to see what attributes of a stress management website mostly play a role in judging credibility of the websites, and to see whether situational motivation had an impact on credibility judgement. Participants were asked to complete the Situational Motivation scale by Guay, Vallerand and Blanchard (2000). After the completion of the scale, participants explored four stress management websites and were asked to fill in a 5-item Likert scale, judging the credibility of each website (Metzger & Flanagin, 2000). The study is a quantitative mixed between-within subjects design with two independent variables. The first independent variable was website attribute (2 levels: content and visual). The visual and content were divided into to a) good or b) bad. The second independent variable was situational motivation scale measuring intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation and amotivation. The dependent variable consisted of the credibility scores participants assigned to four stress management websites created by the researcher: • Bad visual and good content (website 1) • Good visual and bad content (website 2) • Good visual and good content (website 3) • Bad visual and bad content (website 4)
After the present study, it can be concluded that there is a difference between intrinsically and extrinsically motivated individuals. Amotivation was low for each website, as well as external regulation being low for website 3.This could indicate that these two sub-scales may not have an impact on how the participants rate the credibility of websites. Results showed that participants focused mainly on the content, not the visuals of the websites. Bad content resulted in bad credibility overall, and the interaction between visuals and content suggested that if content is bad, the visual does not matter because the website will still be judged as non-credible. Overall, the best credibility came from both good visual and content, as expected.