The Effects of Information Overload on Consumer Confusion: An Examination on User Generated Content
Bogazici Journal: Review of Social, Economic & Administrative Studies, vol. 29, no.1, pp. 27-51, 2015
25 Pages Posted: 21 Dec 2015
Date Written: 2015
The aim of this study is to determine the effects of information overload on consumer confusion in User-Generated Content (UGC) environments and to find whether consumers’ final buying decisions are affected by the confusion. In this respect, consumer data gathered online was analyzed by means of Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) on the basis of the theoretical framework. In addition to model tests, a scale was developed to measure ‘information overload’ depending on UGC. The results revealed that depending on the quality of information created in UGC environments, consumers’ perceptions of information overload and consequently their confused reactions are related. The most important dimension of the information overload was found to be the information processing capacity. The level of involvement, the level of internet self-efficacy, and the perceived usefulness of UGC were also related to the degree of information over-load. Statistically meaningful relationships were found between perceived information overload and confusion, and this confusion had a negative effect on consumers’ buying decisions, thus resulting in a decrease in purchasing.
Keywords: Web 2.0, user-generated content, Information Overload Theory, consumer confusion, Structural Equation Modeling
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