Unpacking the effects of personality traits on algorithmic awareness: The mediating role of previous knowledge and moderating role of internet use

Frontiers in Psychology 13 (2022)
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The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the integration of algorithms in online platforms to facilitate people’s work and life. Algorithms are increasingly being utilized to tailor the selection and presentation of online content. Users’ awareness of algorithmic curation influences their ability to properly calibrate their reception of online content and interact with it accordingly. However, there has been a lack of research exploring the factors that contribute to users’ algorithmic awareness, especially in the roles of personality traits. In this study, we explore the influence of Big Five personality traits on internet users’ algorithmic awareness of online content and examine the mediating effect of previous knowledge and moderating effect of breadth of internet use in in China during the pandemic era. We adapted the 13-item Algorithmic Media Content Awareness Scale to survey users’ algorithmic awareness of online content in four dimensions. Our data were collected using a survey of a random sample of internet users in China. The results of this study supported the moderated mediation model of open-mindedness, previous knowledge, breadth of internet use, and algorithmic awareness. The breadth of internet use was found to be a negative moderator between previous knowledge and algorithmic awareness.



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