Assessing interactivity in computer-mediated research

Sheizaf Rafaeli and Yaron Ariel

in Oxford Handbook of Internet Psychology

Published in print February 2009 | ISBN: 9780199561803
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191743771 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Assessing interactivity in computer-mediated research

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  • Social Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology


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Interactivity is not unique to computers or networks and cannot be reserved solely for the discussion of so-called ‘New Media’. Restricting analysis of interactivity to the domain of computerized and new technology alone problematizes comparisons with traditional media as well as with further developments of the new media. This article begins by reviewing some of the leading definitions and by highlighting the primary conceptual development of interactivity. It then discusses the correlates of interactivity and the different ways studies have measured it, and looks into some of the effects of interactivity by surveying empirical findings. The article also suggests treating interactivity as a unidimensional variable rather than a multidimensional construct. It is argued that expected, actual, and perceived interactivity are the relevant frameworks when examining the variable. Finally, the importance of information, meaning, and value, and their relation to interactivity, are highlighted.

Keywords: New Media; interactivity; information; meaning; value

Article.  10902 words. 

Subjects: Social Psychology ; Cognitive Psychology

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