Social psychology of interactivity in human-website interaction

S. Shyam Sundar

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

 Social psychology of interactivity in human-website interaction

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  • Social Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology


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This article discusses interactivity as a modality feature, source feature, and message feature. It argues that the ultimate effect of interactivity does not lie so much in its function as a peripheral cue in the message context, but as a technological feature that boosts social-psychological effects of content by creating greater user engagement with it. Interactivity can manifest itself by extending the range and functionality of all three basic elements of mediated communication – source, modality, message – and, through theoretical mechanisms involving concepts such as perceptual bandwidth, customization, and contingency, it can determine the manner in which content is psychologically processed by users.

Keywords: modality feature; source feature; message feature; user engagement; website; perceptual bandwidth; customization; contingency

Article.  7862 words. 

Subjects: Social Psychology ; Cognitive Psychology

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