Reference Blindness: The Influence of References on Trust in Wikipedia


Lucassen, Teun and Noordzij, Matthijs L. and Schraagen, Jan Maarten (2011) Reference Blindness: The Influence of References on Trust in Wikipedia. In: ACM WebSci '11, June 14-17 2011, Koblenz, Germany.

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Abstract:In this study we show the in
uence of references on trust
in information. We changed the contents of reference lists
of Wikipedia articles in such a way that the new references
were no longer in any sense related to the topic of the arti-
cle. Furthermore, the length of the reference list was varied.
College students were asked to evaluate the credibility of
these articles. Only 6 out of 23 students noticed the manip-
ulation of the references; 9 out of 23 students noticed the
variations in length. These numbers are remarkably low, as
17 students indicated they considered references an impor-
tant indicator of credibility. The �ndings suggest a highly
heuristic manner of credibility evaluation. Systematic eval-
uation behavior was also observed in the experiment, but
only of participants with low trust in Wikipedia in general.
Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item
Behavioural Sciences (BS)
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