Translating user control availability into perception: the moderating role of prior experience

Brian G. Southwell*, George Anghelcev, Itai Himelboim, Julie Jones

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


On a basic level, perception of user control over media content should be partially a function of control option availability. At the same time, prior user experience with control options should interact with control availability to produce joint effects on control perception. To assess these ideas, we present experimental data from 101 University students in the United States. Participants engaged a documentary in one of three ways: by simply watching the documentary, by watching the documentary with the option of using typical VCR-type controls (such as fast-forward or reverse), or by watching and having available both VCR-type controls and scene sequencing control. Data support our hypotheses. While there was a generally positive relationship between exposure to user control options and user control perception across all participants, those participants with relatively less prior experience with Internet-based applications demonstrated a somewhat different relationship between control availability and control perception.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)554-563
Number of pages10
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Psychology(all)


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