A study by IEEE students finds 73{4c121b525f261b6e9cd1def8a3985dbe850ad058af7b7776b0968f5bd69c65ba} of redditors don’t actually read the articles they vote on.

A paper by students at the University of Notre Dame that was published via IEEE Transactions on Computational Social Systems said 73 percent of haven’t actually clicked through to view the content being rated.

According to Alexa Reddit is the 4th most visited website in the United States and receives 234 million unique visitors per month, but the study honed in on just 309 individuals.

309 user sample seems pretty small. But the smart thing is they students dints use those already existing reddit’s own data collection methods (via its API or by crawling the website with software).

Rather  Notre Dame computer science researcher Tim Weninger and colleagues came  up with their own independent data collection architecture which allowed them to ask questions like, are Redditors even bothering to read the articles? Or, are they, in the words of Weninger and co., merely “headline browsers?”

The built plugins for Chrome and Firefox web browsers that simply record complete snapshots of user activity while on Reddit. The study said almost 73{4c121b525f261b6e9cd1def8a3985dbe850ad058af7b7776b0968f5bd69c65ba} of users where just headline browsers.

“Using this newly collected data, we present findings that highlight the browsing and voting behavior of the study’s participants. We find that most users do not read the article that they vote on, and that, in total, 73{4c121b525f261b6e9cd1def8a3985dbe850ad058af7b7776b0968f5bd69c65ba} of posts were rated (i.e., upvoted or downvoted) without first viewing the content. We also show the evidence of cognitive fatigue in the browsing sessions of users that are most likely to vote.” – the paper said.

Some headlines don’t need any further click,  editors will say the entire message in the headline and it reduces the curiosity of the users to read further.

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And in some cases, people just upvote on the headline which leans on their personal and political views.

The students identified signs of “cognitive fatigue” in Reddit users most likely to vote on content.

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