Believe it or not: youth and young adult female perceptions of the credibility of online multimedia messages
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In the age of Internet, multimedia messages and speed information, it is highly important for communicators to design and create more effective messages to reach their targets. This research addressed the issue of message design by investigating the impact the emotional tone of an online multimedia message has on the perception of the source releasing it. It also explored the influence of the emotional tone on the number of people to whom respondents would forward the messages to and the impact on their comprehension and recognition of risk and benefit information. A 2 (source) x 3 (emotional tone) factorial design online experiment was conducted on youth and young adult women. Results showed that the emotional tone of a message influences the way the respondents perceive the credibility of the source releasing it as well as it influences the number of people to whom respondents would forward the message. Also, risk statements were proven to be better recognized than the benefit ones. Furthermore, implications of the findings on future message design as well as future research directions are discussed.