Highlighting Validity and Placement of Risk Information in Drug Manufacturers' Direct-to-consumer Web Pages.

Show full item record

Title: Highlighting Validity and Placement of Risk Information in Drug Manufacturers' Direct-to-consumer Web Pages.
Author: Hicks, Kevin Ervin
Advisors: Robert S. Dicks III , Committee Member
Michael S Wogalter, Committee Chair
Sharolyn Lane, Committee Member
Abstract: Since the mid-1980s, direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising has changed the way a pharmaceutical company markets prescription medications. DTC advertising has steadily become an integral way of communicating information about prescription drugs to end users and research has shown that the helpInternet is growing as a potential source of drug information. The current study examined the effects of colored highlighting validity (Valid, Invalid and No highlighting) and placement (Top, Middle and Bottom) of target risk keywords in web pages using two kinds of visual search tasks. The two tasks were the same except that in one a target was always present and in the other the target was either present or absent. For both tasks dependent variables were response time and accuracy. The results indicate that valid highlighting significantly reduced response time and increased accuracy across both tasks. Invalid highlighting was not significantly different compared to no highlighting for both tasks in terms of response time or accuracy. Results for both tasks also showed that placement of target keywords on a web page had a significant effect. Top and middle placements significantly reduced response time and increased accuracy compared to placement at the bottom. Findings suggest that valid highlighting and placement above the fold (Top and Middle) of a web page could facilitate consumers locating risk information. In general highlighting has benefits when the sought information is validly highlighted but has no cost when non-target information is highlighted instead. The present findings confirm the results found in studies in other domains. Implications for potential application of highlighting and placement and for future research are discussed.
Date: 2008-04-09
Degree: MS
Discipline: Psychology
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/1741


Files in this item

Files Size Format View
etd.pdf 881.4Kb PDF View/Open

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show full item record