Content learning on websites: The effects of information personalization

Information personalization is a popular and effective way used especially by online content providers to reduce user effort for the assessment of abundant information load. Based on learning and goal setting theories, in this paper we argue that the successful role ofinformation personalization can be attributed to the effect of increased content learning, which is a key driver of consumer website evaluation and loyalty. In addition, we distinguish between twodimensions of information personalization and suggest that effort reduction due to information personalization is not necessarily beneficial. Based on two experimental studies using a healthinformation website, we demonstrate that personalization content, which decreases the effort through offering dense information tailored to the users’ needs, leads to beneficial behavioraloutcomes (website evaluation and revisit intention) due to the mediating role of increased content learning. Personalization interaction, which decreases the effort through the process bywhich the personalized content is generated, has the opposite effects due to the decreased ability of information retention.

Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, is a thinktank and knowledge network. Netspar is dedicated to promoting a wider understanding of the economic and social implications of pensions, aging and retirement in the Netherlands and Europe.

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