2013 - 2014 Carnegie Mellon University
Searching for health information online is becoming increasingly common. The variety of peer reports and facts available online is also increasing. Yet little is known about how users come to trust the material they encounter. Our paper explores the impact of individual differences on trust in the context of information seeking behavior. Twenty-six people participated in an online study, which included a survey and a search. We developed two scales to measure trust in websites and trust in forums. We found that experience with chronic disease was related to increased trust in forums, while trust in websites stayed constant. We draw implications from our results and relate them to the literature on trust.