Does a hyperlink function as an endorsement?

Eric DiMuzio, S. Shyam Sundar

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

5 Scopus citations


Websites often provide hyperlinks to other sites featuring related content. Does this imply an endorsement of the content presented on those linked sites? We answered this question with a 2 x 2 between-subjects factorial experiment in which we systematically varied source credibility (high vs. low) and source sequence (linking vs. linked). All study participants (N = 572) read a dubious story questioning the value of sunscreen, with a link at the bottom to a related story with the same claim. Results show that user perceptions of interest value (i.e., appeal) do transfer over from the linking site to the linked site. However, the source signal is quite salient when it comes to evaluations of newsworthiness and trustworthiness, with users taking note of the differences in credibility. Design implications of these findings for persuasive communications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPersuasive Technology
Subtitle of host publicationDesign for Health and Safety - 7th International Conference, PERSUASIVE 2012, Proceedings
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 2012
Event7th International Conference on Persuasive Technology, PERSUASIVE 2012 - Linkoping, Sweden
Duration: Jun 6 2012Jun 8 2012

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume7284 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Other7th International Conference on Persuasive Technology, PERSUASIVE 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science


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