Theorizing interactivity's effects

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135 Scopus citations


Noting that interactivity is often defined but seldom theorized in the literature, this article provides some pointers for developing theories about effects of interactivity, particularly as it applies to Web-based mass communication. It first makes the case that interactivity is an attribute of the technology and not that of the user. It exposes the tautology of studying the effects of perceived interactivity and calls for the consideration of ontological aspects that constitute interactivity while specifying its social and psychological effects. Theoretical explorations may be categorized in terms of three classes of outcome measures - behavioral, attitudinal, and cognitive - as we investigate the role played by interactivity in initiating action, changing attitudes, and altering the nature of information processing. These would result in theories about technology rather than psychology in that they help us specify direct and combination effects of interactivity, modality, navigability, and other technological attributes of the Web medium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)385-389
Number of pages5
JournalInformation Society
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Management Information Systems
  • Cultural Studies
  • Information Systems
  • Political Science and International Relations


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