More “likes” or no “likes”? An Online Experiment Evaluating the Effects of Secondary Cues on the Perceived Source Credibility of Corrective Messages
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Adopting an experimental design, this study examined the combined effects of tweet popularity data, profile image type, and need for cognition (NFC) on individuals’ perceived source credibility (PSC) of corrective messages. Three major findings were identified. First, PSC is positively associated with perceived message effectiveness and intentions to retweet a corrective message. Second, NFC moderates the effects of popularity data on PSC, such that high NFC individuals perceived tweets without popularity data to be most credible while low NFC individuals considered tweets with high popularity data most credible. Finally, in the high NFC group, a combination of a medical logo profile image and no tweet popularity data resulted in the highest PSC, and in the low NFC group, a combination of a real person profile image and high popularity data condition resulted in the highest PSC.