The Internet offers limitless advice on a multitude of products and services. The quality of the advice varies and is inherently a matter of human judgment. To help users determine the quality of advice and whether to use the advice, design features of web sites include information about the type and credibility of the advice source. This research examines how characteristics of the online user (i.e., self-efficacy) and characteristics of the advice source (i.e., type and credibility) affect advice taking in an online investing context. A laboratory experiment provides evidence that users with higher levels of self-efficacy are less likely to take advice than those with lower levels of self-efficacy. Results also suggest users given highly credible advice are more likely to take the advice compared to users who receive advice with dubious credibility. The implications are discussed.
Poston, Robin S.; Akbulut, Asli Y.; and Looney, Clayton A., "Online Advice Taking: Examining the Effects of Self-Efficacy, Computerized Sources, and Perceived Credibility" (2005). SIGHCI 2005 Proceedings. 5.