Please advise: using the Internet for health and financial advice

Elizabeth Sillence*, Pamela Briggs

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


The Internet is a popular source of information and advice especially within the fields of health and finance. Previous research has raised the issue of quality with respect to online information and has suggested differences between the way consumers and experts search for and appraise online information. However, many studies have asked students to act as ‘consumers’ or have relied upon artificial search tasks. This paper reports on research using ‘genuine’ consumers. The first study examines the trust markers held by genuine consumers in both the health and finance domains. The second study explores the perceptions of people who have actually used sources of online advice. The results indicate similarities between the trust markers of genuine consumers and experts. Trust markers differed between the two domains of health and finance and this was revealed in terms of the features of the sites visited. Genuine consumers may have different requirements and may be under different pressures compared to expert evaluators.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)727-748
Number of pages22
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Issue number1
Early online date8 Dec 2004
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007


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