Using digital images to enhance the credibility of information

Hien Nguyen, Judith Masthoff

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPublished conference contribution

3 Citations (Scopus)


With research revealing the importance of trust as a deciding factor for users to visit a website, designing websites that users find credible becomes important. Adding onscreen characters in various forms (e.g. photographs of a person) to represent the source of information is a simple and popular way to to increase the credibility of a website. However, despite its popularity, empirical studies have reported mixed results. This paper presents three experiments that explored the causes of this contradiction. In our experiments, the credibility of the source (as resulting from a photograph of a person) was found to be topic dependent. It was also found to positively correlate with and account for some 30% of the variability in the credibility of a website. These findings perhaps can explain the inconsistency of many previous studies. Finally, our study suggested that adding a user-selected photograph increases the credibility of the website, while the opposite occurs when adding a photograph that is lowly credible with respect to the topic of the website’s content.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAISB 2008 Convention
Subtitle of host publicationCommunication, Interaction and Social Intelligence
PublisherSociety for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and Simulation of Behaviour
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)1902956621
Publication statusPublished - 2008
EventASIB 2008 - Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Duration: 1 Apr 20084 Apr 2008


ConferenceASIB 2008
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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