Voluntary exposure to online advertising and informational content: Its predictors and outcomes

Date of Completion

January 2000


Business Administration, Marketing|Mass Communications|Information Science




This dissertation focuses on a central research problem: how individuals create their own exposure experience from the content provided by an online advertiser within an interactive medium and what are the outcomes of this free exposure. An experimental design was employed to examine the effects of pre-existing task, selectivity of content, and commercialism of online material on people's online behavior, attitudes, and pragmatic evaluations of the content and behavioral intentions. ^ The results of path analysis suggest that traditional models of advertising effects, with their emphasis on attitudes as the mediators of behavioral change, are inadequate for understanding online advertising processes in media that demand constant, active evaluations of messages rather than passive reception. Contrary to previous findings on traditional media, the pragmatic value of advertising and online behavior itself emerged as strong predictors of behavioral (purchase) intentions, independently of attitudinal variables. ^