Reading news with a purpose: Explaining user profiles for self-actualization

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Personalized content provided by recommender systems is an integral part of the current online news reading experience. However, news recommender systems are criticized for their ‘black-box’ approach to data collection and processing, and for their lack of explainability and transparency. This paper focuses on explaining user profiles constructed from aggregated reading behavior data, used to provide content-based recommendations. The paper makes a first step toward consolidating epistemic values of news providers and news readers. We present an evaluation of an explanation interface reflecting these values, and find that providing users with different goals for self-actualization (i.e., Broaden Horizons vs. Discover the Unexplored) influences their reading intentions for news recommendations.

In 27th Conference on User Modelin, Adaptation and Personalization
Felicia Loecherbach
Felicia Loecherbach
PhD Student Communication Science

My research interests include understanding news consumption online making use of theories from political communication and journalism. I use computational methods to study digital trace data. Only publishing research and tools open source.