Date of Award
Master of Arts
Mike Allen, Michael Beam
News recommender system users obtain news via incidental exposure to news and
experience serendipity in the incidental news consumption. Serendipitous news discovery, the
same as serendipity, refers to discovering unexpected and useful information unintentionally.
Researchers suggest building serendipitous news recommender systems and increasing
serendipitous news discovery to increase the diversity of the news consumption. However, the
impacts of serendipitous news discovery on news consumption are uninvestigated, and rare
research provides theoretical guidance to the serendipitous news recommender systems. The thesis
investigated the impacts of serendipitous news discovery on news consumption with a serendipityrelated
emotion, surprise, as a mediator and need for activation as a moderator. 463 participants
recruited from Amazon MTurk completed the online survey-experiment. The findings suggest that
surprise mediates the correlations between serendipitous news discovery and news consumption.
Users who experience higher serendipitous news discovery indicate more positive attitudes
on news consumption in the news recommender systems. The results also indicate the possibility
that the lack of constant serendipitous news discovery may lead to the consumption of the news
similar to the news that trigger serendipity. The research suggests that serendipitous news
discovery increases news consumption, including news selection and reading.
Pu, Zhixin, "Serendipitous News Discovery Increases News Consumption in News Recommender Systems" (2020). Theses and Dissertations. 2583.