Judgment Making with Conflicting Information in Social Media: The Second-Order Judgment Problems

  • Mina ParkEmail author
  • Poong Oh
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9742)


In online settings, people often face inconsistent or conflicting information about a target of judgment. To make an accurate judgment, they need to determine which information is most relevant, reliable, and trustworthy and how to incorporate it into their judgment making processes. In this paper, we call this the second-order judgment problem—evaluating the value of the information on the target of judgment before making judgments. Extending previous research on online impression formation [1], this study examined the impact of perceived social closeness between the target person whose personality is to be judged and those who provide the information about that person (e.g., comments), which is, in particular, in conflict with the information generated by the target person (e.g., online profiles) on impression formation. To this end, a web-administered experiment was performed, where participants were asked to judge the personality of a target person after reviewing the person’s Facebook page, which had conflicting information. The results showed that the information generated by distant others was more influential on judgment making than that generated by close others, confirming that perceived social closeness functioned as a critical cue for judging the value of the available information. The current findings provide an important implication for the design of the interface of social media: the method of presenting the information about the available information can alter the allocation of judgment makers’ attention, and thereby, final judgments.


Second-order judgment problems Information incompatibility Judgment formation Perceived social relationship Social media 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Annenberg School for Communication and JournalismUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Annenberg School for CommunicationUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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