When Self Is the Source: Effects of Media Customization on Message Processing

Hyunjin Kang, S. Shyam Sundar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Customization of media technologies enables users to become active sources in the communication process. But, does this sense of “self-as-source” alter the way users process information received via customized interfaces? A between-subjects experiment (N = 146) was conducted to answer this question. Data indicate that the effect of self-driven customization (high vs. low self-as-source) on persuasive message processing is mediated by perceived identity. Those who experience high self-as-source tend to process messages less systematically, but perceive the message topic as more important and show greater intention to follow the suggestions of messages than those with a low sense of self-as-source, an effect that is mediated by perceived identity. Theoretical implications for persuasive technologies, dual process models, and the agency model of customization are discussed, followed by practical implications for communicators who wish to incorporate new media technologies into their social influence campaigns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)561-588
Number of pages28
JournalMedia Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication
  • Applied Psychology


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