By virtue of convenience, college students compose the bulk of
participants in many academic studies. And researchers, for their part, can't resist studying their subjects' exotic Internet habits. Recent studies have found that
online culture contributed to a notable decline in students' empathy
, and discovered
that social-networking sites are breeding
grounds for narcissism. The latest related study
, conducted by a team
at Northwestern University, finds evidence that these young adults
aren't as Web savvy as they appear.
Students, according to
researchers, rely much too heavily on search engines to determine the
trustworthiness of online information (i.e. many believe that if a site
lands first on Google's search-results page, then it must be more
credible). "Search engine rankings seem extremely important," said
researcher Eszter Hargittai in a university press release. "We found
that a website's layout or content almost didn't even matter to the
students. What mattered is that it was the number one result on
Which is why many news publications are still
grasping to figure out the "mysterious" Google algorithms. (Examiner.com, for one,
to have it figured out).
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