Using an experimental design coupled with Web-tracking technology, this study explores 2 factors that influence levels of congruent information gathering online. The first factor compares the navigational structure of 2 distinct Web pages—the more open, user-directed search engine versus the organized, assembled structure of a portal Web page. The second factor tests the role of goals for information seeking—telling subjects they will soon engage in a discussion with another person who either disagrees with their viewpoint, agrees, is undecided, or no discussion treatment. Results indicate both experimental factors independently contribute to selectivity in online information seeking.
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