Empirical studies have uncovered a set of criteria that influence credibility judgments, which can be grouped on three levels (Rieh and Belkin 1998, 2000; Fogg The criteria on the different levels interact with one another.
Gray et al.'s (2005) health information seekers verified information they obtained from the Web with personal sources offline.
Undergraduates in Flanagin and Metzger's study (2000) also performed verification, but did so only rarely or occasionally.
These findings confirm that experts tend to evaluate content more than other attributes (Stanford 2002).
It should be noted that credibility judgment is an ongoing process rather than a discrete evaluation event as people make three distinctive kinds of judgments: predictive judgment, evaluative judgment, and verification (Rieh and Hilligoss 2008).
Since Answer Bag was first introduced in 2003, these sites have been growing rapidly in size and importance in the realm of online searching. This dazzling success of social question and answer sites is largely attributed to the millions of lay people who volunteer to answer others' questions.
However, these sites are criticized for precisely the same reason: anyone can post answers without a peer-review process, so the quality of specific answers varies drastically, ranging from excellent to abuse and spam (Su 2007).What is lesser known in the literature are users' credibility judgments in social media such as blogs, wikis, and social question and answer sites.Characterized by user participation and openness in creating and managing content, social media add even more complexity to the complicated task of filtering out credible information on the Web because users evaluate information given by fellow users whose expertise is hard to assess with traditional credibility cues such as an author's affiliation.While some previous studies focus on interpretation by presenting users with specific Website elements to see their impact on credibility judgment (e.g., Fogg 2001), others focus on prominence by letting users notice certain elements as they explore the Websites.This study is in line with the latter approach as it asks users to recall the most prominent elements of an answer that lead them to accept or reject the answer as credible or incredible information.Among a variety of social media, of particular concern to this study is a social question and answer site.