“This Will Blow Your Mind”: examining the urge to click clickbaits

Alton Y.K. Chua, Anjan Pal, Snehasish Banerjee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Integrating the uses and gratifications (U&G) theory, the notion of information richness, and personal epistemology framework, the purpose of this research is to propose and empirically validate a framework which specifies Internet users’ urge to click clickbaits. The hypotheses in the proposed framework were tested using a between-participants experimental design (N=204) that manipulated information richness (text-only vs. thumbnail clickbaits). Curiosity, perceived enjoyment, and surveillance were significant predictors of the urge to click. In terms of information richness, the urge to click was higher for thumbnail vis-a-vis text-only clickbaits. Internet-related epistemic beliefs moderated the relation between the gratification of passing time and the urge to click. This paper represents one of the earliest attempts to investigate Internet users’ urge to click clickbaits. Apart from extending the boundary conditions of the U&G theory, it integrates two other theoretical lenses, namely, the notion of information richness, and personal epistemology framework, to develop and empirically validate a theoretical framework.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)288-303
Number of pages16
JournalAslib Journal of Information Management
Issue number2
Early online date8 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - 23 Feb 2021

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  • clickbait
  • gratifications
  • information richness
  • information processing
  • urge to click
  • Internet-related epistemic beliefs

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