Whom do audiences of online lectures trust?

On the internet it’s mostly up to the users to check for trustworthiness and quality of content of their information sources. But how do users assess trustworthiness? For the case of online video lectures this has been studied in greater detail by Lars König and Regina Jucks, psychologists at the University of Münster, Germany.
The experiments for their paper »When do information seekers trust scientific information?« was published in the International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education in February 2019 (apologies for our generous interpretation of the term »news-letter«). It involved 143 participants who had to watch video lectures on nutrition. The results in short: If the expert in the lecture who argued that organic food is superior to conventional food was a lobbyist who referred to self-conducted studies, he was rated as less trustworthy compared to a lobbyist who referred to studies conducted by other scientists. Even »his instructional qualities were rated as less positive«.
The most important result, however, was this one: »For scientists, this effect did not occur.« Whether they talked about their own research or about results from other researchers, their credibility did not vary. (tk)

Read more:
König, L., Jucks, R. When do information seekers trust scientific information? Insights from recipients’ evaluations of online video lectures. Int J Educ Technol High Educ 16, 1 (2019).

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