How do people appraise to what extent TikTok videos are informative? Exploring the processes and factors that play a role in the evaluations of informational content on TikTok
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- Master theses 
TikTok is a short-form video platform that exploded in popularity in recent years. There is plenty of content on this application that focuses on entertainment like dances and memes. However, a substantial part of it is created with the purpose of communicating information. It is impossible for TikTok to review every single piece of content posted on it; thus, the task of evaluating information has been tacitly transferred to each of the users who watch these videos. The current research focuses on exploring how people appraise to what extent TikTok videos are informative, by identifying evaluation processes and general aspects that may influence people’s assessments. Previous research on credibility was used to design a survey to measure evaluations by 137 participants of three different informative videos. The data gathered was of both quantitative and qualitative nature. This allowed for a better understanding of internal processes, as well as aspects that participants paid attention to the most when evaluating this type of content. While the sample size was limited to a small number, some initial observations may pave the way for further studies that can focus on specific aspects and deeper issues. It was found that the elaboration likelihood model of persuasion (ELM) could be used to explain internal evaluation processes. With that in mind, some specific aspects were identified to serve as triggers that influenced participants’ appraisal of informative content on TikTok. Visual elements like verification tick, having knowledge of the video presenter, evidence, and media aspects came up as some of the biggest factors that influenced evaluation by the participants. In the context of TikTok and similar platforms, other elements like functionality, algorithms, and user experience should also be explored when studying evaluation of information. This is because content does not randomly land on a user’s feed, but rather comes recommended by the platform. The current research is broad, as it was not possible to find similar studies done about TikTok; therefore, the outcomes focused on identifying main aspects that could later be dissected one by one with further studies.