|From encyclopedia Britannica to Wikipedia: Generational differences in the perceived credibility of online encyclopedia information|
|Author(s)||Andrew J. Flanagin, Miriam J. Metzger|
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From encyclopedia Britannica to Wikipedia: Generational differences in the perceived credibility of online encyclopedia information is a 2011 publication written in English by Andrew J. Flanagin, Miriam J. Metzger.
This study examined the perceived credibility of user-generated (i.e. Wikipedia) versus more expertly provided online encyclopedic information (i.e. Citizendium, and the online version of the Encyclopædia Britannica) across generations. Two large-scale surveys with embedded quasi-experiments were conducted: among 11-18-year-olds living at home and among adults 18 years and older. Results showed that although use of Wikipedia is common, many people (particularly adults) do not truly comprehend how Wikipedia operates in terms of information provision, and that while people trust Wikipedia as an information source, they express doubt about the appropriateness of doing so. A companion quasi-experiment found that both children and adults assess information to be more credible when it originates or appears to originate from Encyclopædia Britannica. In addition, children rated information from Wikipedia to be less believable when they viewed it on Wikipedia's site than when that same information appeared on either Citizendium's site or on Encyclopædia Britannica's site. Indeed, content originating from Wikipedia was perceived by children as least credible when it was shown on a Wikipedia page, yet the most credible when it was shown on the page of Encyclopædia Britannica. The practical and theoretical implications of these results are discussed.
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