Both studies are addressing adult learners, but it is key to state that Robert’s target was to address different approaches to determine the validity of online sources for non-traditional college student while Hargittai focused in on the traditional, millennial college learner. Trust Online focused on observing the millennial student and how they have used online search engines in their scholastic journey and Research in the Real World focused on research models and learning approaches like ARCS Model of Motivation and PBL. We should also note the difference in years between the two articles. Research in the real world is more current (2017) while Trust Online was submitted in 2009. An almost 10-year difference in research will often display varied results.
I instantly trusted the article published on the USC Annenberg site because of the ever-popular brand recognition. It was a school that I was very familiar with and have had a positive experience with and therefor I was already more trusting of the site. I also found the website to have a better array of information available to me than C&RL which drew me in to the site more.
Whenever I am going online for research (scholarly or not), my brain is triggered to respond to a brand, it’s familiarity and of course my experience with that brand. If I see an article coming from Fox News, although I recognize the brand, I am instantly wary of the piece because of my negative experience with the channel’s republican party bias and racist media coverage. As are dates and times that the article or research had been both studied and published. Other factors that come in to play when I haphazardly scan the web for research are the cleanliness of the site: the color, the amount of text on the screen and it’s font, and the spacing between such text. The website and article must be clear and lack errors.
That is my psychological response to looking for research, but I can say that I have been trained to look for different things as I progressed through school. Validity of the author and the author’s sources are important.