Published November 16, 2016
The Department of Communication is proud to announce that alumnus Jian Raymond Rui (PhD, 2014), Associate Professor Dr. Michael Stefanone, and doctoral candidate Jessica Covert were awarded top paper in the Human Communication and Technology Division the National Communication Association's 2016 Convention for their paper, Source-Target Relationship and Specificity of Other-Generated Information: An Extension of Warranting Theory.
Below, the abstract for the award-winning paper:
Internet-based communication technologies enable us to form impressions of individuals we have never met offline. However, the credibility of information available online remains a concern. We examine how impressions are developed based on recommendations, a type of other-generated information available via LinkedIn. Specifically, we seek to extend warranting theory by investigating how the source-target relationship and specificity of recommendations affect perceived credibility of recommendations and third party's impressions of the target. A 2 X 2 between-group experiment (N = 221) was conducted. Results show significant main effects for source-target relationship and specificity of recommendations. Furthermore, perceived credibility of recommendations mediated the relationship between the source-target relationship and impressions of the target. Perceived familiarity with the target and credibility of recommendations mediated the relationship between specificity and impressions. This study extends warranting theory by highlighting the source's ability to provide comments on the target independently, a key variable affecting perceived warranting value of other-generated information.