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Making the news interesting : Understanding the relationship between familiarity and interest

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Author: Sluis, F. van der · Glassey, R.J. · Broek, E.L. van den
Source:4th Information Interaction in Context Symposium, IIiX 2012: Behaviors, Interactions, Interfaces, Systems, 21-24 August 2012, Nijmegen, The Netherlands, 314-317
Identifier: 465224
doi: doi:10.1145/2362724.236278
Keywords: Familiarity · Filtering and recommender systems · Information feeds · Interest · Future Internet Use · Information Society · Communication & Information · MNS - Media & Network Services · TS - Technical Sciences


News feeds are an important element of information encountering, feeding our (new) interests but also leading to a state of information overload. Current solutions often select information similar to the user's interests. However, long-term interest in one topic, and being highly familiar with that topic, does not necessarily imply an actual interest response will occur when more of the same topic is selected. This study explores how important familiarity is in predicting an interest response. In a study with 30 subjects, interest was manipulated by topical familiarity using novel stimuli from a popular news source. This study shows, within this context, familiarity is moderately important for an interest response: familiarity does indeed make the news interesting, but only to a certain extent. The results set a baseline for predicting interest during information encountering, indicating familiarity is important, but not the only influential variable a system should consider when selecting information for users. Copyright © 2012 ACM.