Handling of online information by users: evidence from TED talks
Özmen, M. U.
Behaviour and Information Technology
Taylor & Francis
1309 - 1323
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This paper studies how people search for, choose, process and evaluate information provided online. In this context, the study analyses how the content and context of online information are related to the length of information and to user ratings. Employing naturalistic data that cover the titles, durations and viewer-assigned ratings/tags of more than two-thousand TED talks, the paper investigates whether (i) the talk duration is related to viewer-assigned ratings, (ii) there is a link between the talk duration and attention driving factors (title words), and (iii) the ex-ante wording of talks’ titles and ex-post user-assigned ratings are connected. The findings show that talks with certain end-user ratings have significantly different length, most strikingly, talks first rated as persuasive are on average 35% longer than talks first rated as ingenious. Also the inclusion of certain words in the talk title significantly affects both the talk duration and end-user ratings. For instance, talks whose title include ‘child’ are on average 27% longer than other talks; or talks whose title include ‘brain’ are 57% more likely to be rated as fascinating than others. Overall, the paper reveals regularities regarding information processing attitudes, attention and subjective evaluations of online information users.