Media Effects Research Lab - Research Archive

Does Video Production Value Influence the Credibility of Science Information

Student Researcher(s)

Ahmed Al Rawi (Masters Candidate); Matt Cikovic (Ph.D Candidate); Matt Swayne (Masters Candidate)

Faculty Supervisor

Dr. S. Shyam Sundar

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

INTRODUCTION

Video with higher production quality has been associated with increased trust in message and source credibility. However, the increased dissemination of amateur videos and the reliance of video posts on social media for news content and science news content, specifically, make understanding credibility cues, such as video quality, in video formats important. While researchers have long studied the effect of quality on both message and source credibility, not a lot is known about whether the aesthetic reaction to video production quality can change over time and whether this impacts the credibility of science news videos.

 

RESEARCH QUESTION / HYPOTHESES

RQ1:For individuals, controlling for age and media preference, what is the relationship between video production value and credibility?

RQ2:For individuals, controlling for age and media preference, what is the relationship between video production value and message recall?

H1a:For younger, less traditional media consumers content with better production value will be seen as less credible than content with lower production value.

H1b:For older, more traditional media consumers content with better production value will be seen as more credible than content with lower production value.

H2a:Content with better production value will have higher message memorability than content with lower production value.

H2b:Content with lower production value will have higher message memorability than content with higher production value.

 

METHOD

We conducted an experiment on Amazon Mechanical Turk in which we sent subjects (n=82) to a website where they were randomly assigned to one of two stimuli and then filled out a survey afterwards to measure their perceptions. The videos the subjects viewed were operationalized as either high or low “production quality” and then measurements were taken on their perceptions of the video’s source and message credibility, its message memorability, and also some questions concerning whether or not the viewer even perceived the videos as having either high or low levels of production quality.

 

RESULTS

For RQ1, a one-way ANOVA showed that there is a significant relationship between video production quality and message/source credibility, with low production value. We did not find significant results for the other questions and hypotheses.

 

CONCLUSIONS/DISCUSSION

In line with the expectations of theories on media credibility and persuasion, when comparing types of media exposure, we found that video production value positively affected the combined source and message credibility condition for those who primarily watch more television. This finding did affirm source credibility theory, for example, which would surmise a relationship between the surface credibility cues of video production value and persuasiveness.

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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