Authority vs. peer: How interface cues influence users

S. Shyam Sundar, Qian Xu, Anne Oeldorf-Hirsch

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

53 Scopus citations

Abstract

From the most e-mailed stories of the day to the most favorite stocks of the week, Web interfaces are rife with cues conveying other users' ratings and reviews of products and services. Do these peer opinions indeed affect our decisions? And if so, are they as strong in their impact as cues conveying authority/expertise (i.e., high source credibility)? We explored these questions through an experiment (N = 243) guided by the heuristic-systematic model in social psychology. Bandwagon/peer cues are generally more persuasive, but when they are inconsistent, the authority cue influences decisions. In general, task involvement promotes systematic processing of these cues. Interestingly, we found no difference in perceived authority between CNET Editor's Choice seal and a seal from a fictitious "authority" (Zig!), among other indications of heuristic processing. We discuss design implications for user interfaces in general and recommendation agents in particular.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 27th International Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2009
Pages4231-4236
Number of pages6
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 22 2009
Event27th International Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2009 - Boston, MA, United States
Duration: Apr 4 2009Apr 9 2009

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings

Other

Other27th International Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2009
CountryUnited States
CityBoston, MA
Period4/4/094/9/09

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design

Cite this

Sundar, S. S., Xu, Q., & Oeldorf-Hirsch, A. (2009). Authority vs. peer: How interface cues influence users. In Proceedings of the 27th International Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2009 (pp. 4231-4236). (Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings). https://doi.org/10.1145/1520340.1520645