The Impact of Weibo Features on User’s Information Comprehension: The Mediating Role of Cognitive Load

Ying Xu, Jia-Qiong Xie*, Fu-Xing Wang, REBECCA MONK, James Gaskin, Jin-Liang Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

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Abstract

Social media, such as Microblogs, have become an important source for people to obtain information. However, we know little about how this would influence our comprehension over
online information. Based on the cognitive load theory, this research explores whether and how two important features of Weibo, which are the feedback function and information fragmentation, would increase cognitive load and may in turn hinder users’ information comprehension in Weibo. A 2 (feedback or non-feedback) × 2 (strong-interference or weak-interference information) between-participants experimental design was conducted. Our results revealed that the Weibo feedback function and interference information exerted a negative impact over information comprehension via inducing increased cognitive load. Specifically, these results deepened our understanding regarding the impact of Weibo features on online information comprehension and suggest the mechanism by which this occurs. This finding has implications for how to minimize the potential cost of using Weibo and maximize the adaptive development of social media.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSocial Science Computer Review
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 10 Sep 2022

Keywords

  • Weibo's feature
  • feedback function
  • interference information
  • information comprehension

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