Interactivity and political attitude formation: A mediation model of online information processing

Indeok Song, Erik P. Bucy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


With the rise of new media, interactivity has become a central focus of research on information technology and politics. To better position the concept for systematic investigation, this study locates interactivity in the relationship between interface features and user perceptions and tests a mediation model of online information processing. The mediation model is based on the idea that objective (or technological) aspects of interactivity are not directly responsible for outcomes, whether cognitive, affective, or attitudinal, but instead are mediated by perceptions during Internet use. The results from an experiment conducted during the 2004 general election involving a political Web site support the mediation model for predicting the effects of interactivity on political attitude formation. Perceived interactivity was found to mediate the effect of objective interactivity on attitudes toward the Web site and politician for whom the site was designed. However, for policy issues promoted on the site, mediation could not be established. In the relationship between objective and perceived interactivity, Internet self-efficacy was also found to be a significant moderator, influencing evaluative outcomes and the degree of perceived interactivity during Web use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-61
Number of pages33
JournalJournal of Information Technology and Politics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2008


  • Mediation model
  • Political attitudes
  • Political interactivity
  • Web site evaluations


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