Using an Elaboration Likelihood Approach to Better Understand the Persuasiveness of Website Privacy Assurance Cues for Online Consumers

Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, vol. 63(4), pp. 755-766 (DOI: 10.1002/asi.21705).

41 Pages Posted: 24 Oct 2011 Last revised: 19 Jun 2014

See all articles by Paul Benjamin Lowry

Paul Benjamin Lowry

Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University - Pamplin College of Business

Gregory D Moody

University of Nevada, Las Vegas - College of Business

Anthony Vance

Brigham Young University - Department of Information Systems

Matthew Jensen

University of Oklahoma - Michael F. Price College of Business

Jeffrey L. Jenkins

University of Arizona

Taylor Michael Wells

California State University

Date Written: October 23, 2011

Abstract

Privacy concerns can greatly hinder consumers’ intentions to interact with a website. The success of a website therefore depends on its ability to improve consumers’ perceptions of privacy assurance. Seals and assurance statements are mechanisms often used to increase this assurance; however, the findings of the extant literature regarding the effectiveness of these tools are mixed. We propose a model based on the elaboration likelihood model (ELM) that explains conditions under which privacy assurance is more or less effective, clarifying the contradictory findings in previous literature. We test our model in a free-simulation online experiment, and the results of the analysis indicate that the inclusion of assurance statements and the combination, understanding, and assurance of seals influence privacy assurance. Privacy assurance is most effective when seals and statements are accompanied by the peripheral cues of website quality and brand image and when counter-argumentation - through transaction risk - is minimized. Importantly, we show ELM to be an appropriate theoretical lens to explain the equivocal results in the literature. Finally, we suggest theoretical and practical implications.

Keywords: Elaboration Likelihood Model, argumentation, persuasion, cues, source credibility, website quality, privacy seals, assurance statements, privacy policy statements, brand image, risk

Suggested Citation

Lowry, Paul Benjamin and Moody, Gregory Daniel and Vance, Anthony and Jensen, Matthew and Jenkins, Jeffrey L. and Wells, Taylor Michael, Using an Elaboration Likelihood Approach to Better Understand the Persuasiveness of Website Privacy Assurance Cues for Online Consumers (October 23, 2011). Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, vol. 63(4), pp. 755-766 (DOI: 10.1002/asi.21705).. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1948055

Paul Benjamin Lowry (Contact Author)

Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University - Pamplin College of Business ( email )

1016 Pamplin Hall
Blacksburg, VA 24061
United States

Gregory Daniel Moody

University of Nevada, Las Vegas - College of Business ( email )

United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://faculty.unlv.edu/wpmu/gmoody/

Anthony Vance

Brigham Young University - Department of Information Systems ( email )

510 Tanner Building
Marriott School
Provo, UT 84602
United States

Matthew Jensen

University of Oklahoma - Michael F. Price College of Business ( email )

307 West Brooks
Norman, OK 73019-4004
United States

Jeffrey L. Jenkins

University of Arizona ( email )

Department of History
Tucson, AZ 85721
United States

Taylor Michael Wells

California State University ( email )

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