Unleashing Crowd Wisdom: Leveraging Cognitive Memory Structures to Increase Quality of User-Generated Content
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
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Monica Chiarini Tremblay
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Information Quality, User-Generated Content, Perceived Quality, Data Structure, Nature of Shared Content
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In recent years, online information sharing platforms have opened new opportunities for people to share information and experiences with each other and with organizations that sponsor these platforms. Increasingly, data consumers, both at the organizational and at the individual level, hope to use these User-Generated Content (UGC) in their decision making. However, recent studies uncovered significant challenges associated with the interfaces used to collect high-quality UGC. While many aspects of the information quality (IQ) of UGC have been studied, the role of data structures in gathering UGC and the nature of shared content have yet to receive attention. UGC is created on online platforms with varying degrees of data structure, ranging from unstructured (e.g., open box fields) to highly structured formats (e.g., rigid and specific forms). Despite much research on UGC, we have little understanding of the appropriate degree of data structures in data collection and its impact on the quality of information. Moreover, we know that most of the produced UGC originates in the declarative memory of the contributors. Psychology literature shows that different types of memory are stored and managed differently, and that they are retrieved accordingly. Thus, we argue that the information collection interface for retrieving and collecting each type of memory should be aligned with the way that it was stored. Therefore, we posit that designing interfaces with sensitivity to human memory structures should result in improvements of the IQ of UGC. We conducted several experiments to examine differently-designed information collection interfaces for different types of information. We evaluated both data creators’ and data consumers’ perceived quality of information collection, at the individual level. The findings support our claims of the importance of these factors for information quality. This research demonstrates a connection between information system interface design and human memory, which eventually could result in changes to best practices in interface design. This could, in turn, lead to improved interaction between participants and organizations, including enhanced data creators’ self-expression, improved users’ attitudes toward UGC systems, and increased value-add from organizations’ use of UGC.
Maddah, Mahed, "Unleashing Crowd Wisdom: Leveraging Cognitive Memory Structures to Increase Quality of User-Generated Content" (2019). FIU Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 4040.
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