Media Effects Research Lab - Research Archive

AR for news Exploring its impact on emotions, perceived understandability, content credibility and sharing intention among news readers

Student Researcher(s)

Zicheng Cheng (Ph.D Candidate); Zheng Cui (Masters Candidate); Sahiti Kunchay ( Candidate)

Faculty Supervisor

Dr. S. Shyam Sundar

This paper was based on a project as part of the COMM 506 course.

INTRODUCTION


Immersive journalism has been under discussion these days. Different from the traditional textual or video news, immersive news can provide a first-person experience of the news story. While previous studies have investigated the effects of 360 degrees video and VR news, we are interested to find out if AR news can induce the similar emotion and cognition effects.


RESEARCH QUESTION / HYPOTHESES

 

H1: When AR technology is added to immersive news, it will elicit a higher level of presence compared to immersive news.

H2: When AR technology is added to immersive news, it will elicit a higher level of understandability compared to immersive news.

H3: When AR technology is added to immersive news, it will elicit a higher level of positive emotion experience compared to immersive news.

H4: When AR technology is added to immersive news, it will elicit a higher level of perceived content credibility compared to immersive news.

H5: When AR technology is added to immersive news, it will elicit a higher level of sharing intention compared to immersive news.

 

Mediators:

H6: The presence heuristic will mediate the relationship between modality and perceived quality.

H7: The perceived quality will mediate the relationship between presence heuristic and the perceived content credibility.

H8: The perceived quality will mediate the relationship between presence heuristic and the sharing intention.

 

Moderators:

H9: Gender will moderate the relationship between the modality and the sharing intention.

H10: Gender will moderate the relationship between the modality and the content credibility.

H11: College of the participants will moderate the relationship between the modality and the sharing intention.

H12: College of the participants will moderate the relationship between the modality and the content credibility.

 

METHOD

An experiment was conducted among the graduate students in Penn State University. The total sample size is 29, with 10 female and 19 male students. Participants were randomly assigned to either of the conditions: immersive news or immersive + AR news. We have chosen the New York Times article “Apollo 11: As we shot it” as the stimulus. After finishing reading the news, participants filled out the questionnaire.

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RESULTS

When the flow is better, the more excited, appealed, interested people will feel when reading the story. When people feel they are present in the story scene, they will understand the story better, have a higher credibility perception and sharing intention. Likewise, when they have a feeling of realism, they think the story is more credible, which aligns with the findings of previous immersive news study (Sundar et al., 2017).

However, contrary to the hypotheses, the immersive news turns out to elicit a higher sense of being there than the AR news. Our study doesn’t show the AR news can elicit higher level of presence, understandability, positive emotions, credibility perception or sharing intention.

table 1


CONCLUSIONS/DISCUSSION

The contribution of our study has two folds:
1. The presence heuristic can play a significant role in the interactive media consumption experience. It can affect people’s understandability and affect towards the interactive news article, which supports the findings in MAIN model (Sundar, 2008).
2. However, our result indicates that AR might not necessarily have a positive outcome. The “failure” of AR news might be due to the usability difficulties and imperfect AR design of the news story, which suggests that investing in AR news might not always be a good strategy for the news outlets. From the perspective experiment design, we need to enlarge the sample size and improve the experiment operations in the future.

For more details regarding the study contact

Dr. S. Shyam Sundar by e-mail at sss12@psu.edu or by telephone at (814) 865-2173

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