The Effects of Message Framing on Online Health Headline Selection: A Mediation of Message Credibility

  • Tingting JiangEmail author
  • Xi Wu
  • Ying Wang
  • Ye Chen
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 12051)


The acquisition of health information is conducive to promoting the public’s health literacy and improving citizens’ health. The display of online health information often features an entering page that lists headlines hyperlinked to health article pages. Among the various techniques that help increase headline effectiveness, this study was particularly interested in message framing (gain/loss framing) and investigated how it influenced headline selection in the form of fixation and clicking and considered message credibility as a possible mediator. Based on an eye-tracking experiment, this study found that gain-framed headlines received a larger fixation count, a longer fixation duration, and a larger clicking count. In addition, message credibility had partial mediating effects on the relationship between message framing and fixation count and that between message framing and clicking count. The findings provide useful implications for creating effective online headlines in the health domain and enrich our understanding of how information characteristics affect information selection.


Message framing Health information Headline selection Message credibility Eye-tracking experiment 



This research has been made possible through the financial support of the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grants No. 71774125 and No. 71874129.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Information ManagementWuhan UniversityWuhanChina
  2. 2.Center for Studies of Information ResourcesWuhan UniversityWuhanChina
  3. 3.School of Information ManagementCentral China Normal UniversityWuhanChina

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