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Proc AMIA Symp. 2000 : 794–798.
PMCID: PMC2243820

The impact of displayed awards on the credibility and retention of Web site information.


Ratings systems and awards for medical Web sites have proliferated, but the validity and utility of the systems has not been well established. This study examined the effect of awards on the perceived credibility and retention of health information on a Web page. We recruited study participants from Internet newsgroups and presented them with information on the claimed health benefits of shark cartilage. Participants were randomized to receive health information with and without a medical award present on the page. We subsequently asked them to evaluate the credibility of the Web page and posed multiple-choice questions regarding the content of the pages. 137 completed responses were included for analysis. Our results show that the presentation of awards has no significant effect on the credibility or retention of health information on a Web page. Significantly, the highly educated participants in our study found inaccurate and misleading information on shark cartilage to be slightly believable.

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Selected References

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