How Shades of Truth and Age Affect Responses to COVID-19 (Mis)information: Randomized Survey Experiment among WhatsApp Users in UK and Brazil
Humanities and Social Sciences Communications.
Abstract: We examined how age and exposure to different types of COVID-19 (mis)information affect misinformation beliefs, perceived credibility of the message and intention-to-share it on WhatsApp. Through two mixed-design online experiments in the UK and Brazil (total N = 1,454) we first randomly exposed adult WhatsApp users to full misinformation, partial misinformation, or full truth about the therapeutic powers of garlic to cure COVID-19. We then exposed all participants to corrective information from the World Health Organization debunking this claim. We found stronger misinformation beliefs among younger adults (18-54) in both UK and Brazil and possible backfire effects of corrective information among older adults (55+) in the UK. Corrective information from the WHO was effective in enhancing perceived credibility and intention-to-share of accurate information across all groups in both countries. Our findings call for evidence-based infodemic interventions by health agencies, with greater engagement of younger adults in pandemic misinformation management efforts.
Will humor increase the effectiveness of human papillomavirus (HPV) advertising? Exploring the role of humor, STD information, and knowledge
Abstract: In this research, we seek to provide effective message strategies to communicate stigma associated health issues such as the human papillomavirus (HPV), by exploring the roles of humor, STD […]
Bridging the Fear and Hope: A Smartphone Eye-Tracking Examination of the Effects of Hope in Fear-based Health Messages
Abstract: This study used a smartphone eye-tracking approach to examine understudied areas in health communication – hope in fear appeal – when people are exposed to differential emotional shifts with fear […]