This paper argues for enhanced consideration of third variables in interactivity research and proposes a "mediated moderation" model to bring increased sophistication to bear on the study of information technology effects. Interactivity, a central phenomenon in new media research, is an elusive concept that has enduringly intrigued and confused scholars. Extant conceptualizations have produced incomplete causal models and have generally ignored the effect of third variables. We conceptualize interactivity as technological attributes of mediated environments that enable reciprocal communication or information exchange, which afford interaction between communication technology and users, or between users through technology. Specifying roles for mediator and moderator variables, this paper proposes a model that incorporates interactive attributes, user perceptions (mediators such as perceived interactivity), individual differences (moderators such as Internet self-efficacy), and media effects measures to systematically examine the definition, process, and consequences of interactivity on users. Lastly, statistical procedures for testing mediated moderation are described.
|State||Published - 2007|