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date: 15 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

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

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