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Believing in Expertise: How Authors' Credentials and Language Use Influence the Credibility of Online Health Information

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Abstract

Today, many people use the Internet to seek health advice. This study examines how an author's expertise is established and how this affects the credibility of his or her online health information. In a 2 (authors' credentials: medical vs. nonmedical) × 2 (authors' language use: technical vs. every day) within-subjects design, 127 study participants, or "seekers," judged authors' expertise, benevolence, and integrity as well as the credibility of their medical statements. In addition, we assessed seekers' awareness of their own knowledge and behavior. Results revealed that users consciously rewarded authors' credentials and subconsciously punished technical language. Seekers were keenly aware of authors' credentials and perceived authors with medical credentials to have a higher level of expertise and their information to be more credible. Technical language use negatively affected authors' integrity and the credibility of their health information, despite seekers being unaware of it. Practical implications for health communication and implications for future research are outlined.

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... The easiness effect has been shown to be robust against variations of scientific discipline/topic and contextual factors (Scharrer et al., 2013(Scharrer et al., , 2014(Scharrer et al., , 2019Thon and Jucks, 2017;Bullock et al., 2019). The effect can be reduced if non-experts are made aware of the controversial nature of the claim in question (Scharrer et al., 2013) or if non-experts are warned that the topic at hand is actually very complex (Scharrer et al., 2014). ...
... Many of these past studies on the influence of information easiness intentionally used claims of a fictitious nature to keep participants' prior knowledge and beliefs as low as possible (Scharrer et al., 2012(Scharrer et al., , 2013(Scharrer et al., , 2014(Scharrer et al., , 2019. Other studies used authentic claims, but did not control for participants' prior beliefs (Scharrer et al., 2017;Thon and Jucks, 2017;Bullock et al., 2019). ...
... These findings are in line with previous research on the impact of text easiness, suggesting that non-experts attach weight to their own perceived understanding of the subject matter when judging a scientific claim in spite of their lack of knowledge (e.g., Scharrer et al., 2012Scharrer et al., , 2017Thon and Jucks, 2017;Bullock et al., 2019). However, the present results also suggest that, at least for undergraduates who believe in anthropogenic climate-change, text easiness loses its influence when information is inconsistent with their prior beliefs. ...
Article
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Usually, non-experts do not possess sufficient deep-level knowledge to make fully informed evaluations of scientific claims. Instead, they depend on pertinent experts for support. However, previous research has shown that the easiness by which textual information on a scientific issue can be understood seduces non-experts into overlooking their evaluative limitations. The present study examined whether text easiness affects non-experts’ evaluation of scientific claims even if they possess prior beliefs about the accuracy of these claims. Undergraduates who strongly believed that climate change is anthropogenic read argumentative texts that were either easy or difficult to understand and that supported a claim either consistent or inconsistent with their beliefs. Results are consistent with the hypothesis that text easiness affects non-experts’ judgment of scientific claims about which they hold prior beliefs—but only when these claims are in accordance with their beliefs. It seems that both text difficulty and belief inconsistency remind non-experts of their own limitations.
... In general, the public trusts health information provided by experts (Thon & Jucks, 2017). According to the Pew Research Center (2019b), over 51% of Americans indicated that they had a fair amount of confidence in scientists to act in the best interests of the public. ...
... Over 68% of the public have a positive view of doctors and medical researchers (Pew Research Center, 2019a). Thon and Jucks (2017) found a high level of trust in health expertise in both online and offline environments. Yet, there are concerns about the public's reception of health-related news from social media. ...
... Expertise is an important component of building credibility in communication (Austin & Dong, 1994;Eastin, 2006;Garrett et al., 2013;Lewandowsky et al., 2012;Nyhan et al., 2014). Scholars point out that an expert's knowledge is usually deeper and also structured differently than a layperson's (Bromme & Jucks, 2001;Keil, 2010;Thon & Jucks, 2017). However, expert correction, faces some challenges. ...
Article
This study shows how research on misinformation correction on social media must be contextualized by an understanding of race, class, and local culture. Using an inductive analysis of focus group data, we find that correction of misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic on the US/Mexico border is multilayered between the family and community institutions. It is also structured by information poverty, local Latinx border practices, and cultural constructs such as chisme and a culture of skepticism. Trust in expert correction is mediated by medical paternalism and distrust of city leadership. Local leaders in the Latinx border community are wary of communicating with the general public and hesitant to correct misinformation in online mediums. Nevertheless, correction of misinformation does occur in the intimate networks of family and friends in online group chats, discussions around the television, and interpersonal communication.
... Many medical concepts, including diagnoses and recommendations, can be expressed in either specialized or everyday terms: Although medical journals often use the term cerebrovascular syndrome, patients will likely be more familiar with the term stroke. Using technical instead of ET for specialized medical concepts makes the content appear more difficult to comprehend Thon and Jucks, 2017). It will also identify the person using the terms as an expert in the field (Bromme et al., 2001). ...
... A similar method has been used in previous studies on the understanding of medical concepts (e.g. Thon and Jucks, 2017). The full materials are available online; links are provided in Appendix 2. ...
Article
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We investigated how recipients disentangle social and content-related cues in physicians’ communication. We presented 53 students with four different statements by physicians concerning the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine. In a 2 × 2 within-subject design, we manipulated politeness and the use of technical terms. We expected politeness variations to mainly affect social perceptions, whereas terminology should mainly affect perceptions of the content. However, politeness did not affect most judgments, whereas terminology influenced more social perceptions than expected. We argue that these variations differentially affect perceptions of fulfillment of basic communion and agency needs. We derive possible implications for physician–patient communication and other contexts.
... For health communication researchers who aim to facilitate informed health decisions, equally important questions arise about how the medical content produced by the crowd is perceived and received on the users' end. While Internet users often claim to heavily rely on the credentials of the information source when assessing the credibility of online health information (Thon & Jucks, 2017), only a handful of studies have empirically tested perceptions of the collective source enabled by crowdsourcing technologies, and the findings are mixed. Judgments of the crowds' ability are often divergent. ...
... The elaboration likelihood model (ELM) (Petty & Cacioppo, 1986) proposes two routes of information processing: In the central route, individuals engage in effortful processing and tend to make judgments based on content factors such as the quality of the arguments; however, when they are in the peripheral route due to lack of motivation or resources, they tend to make decisions based on peripheral cues such as message length and source attributes. Consistent with prior findings that information seekers often heavily rely on the credentials of the online information source for their credibility evaluation (Thon & Jucks, 2017), our study shows that judgments of crowdsourced content seem to be largely influenced by source trustworthiness and other non-content factors. Extending the original ELM's conceptualization of peripheral cues, our study shows that technological factors such as interface interactivity can also bias judgments. ...
Article
Crowdsourcing websites such as Wikipedia have become go-to places for health information. To what extent do we trust such health content that is generated by other Internet users? Will it make a difference if such entries are curated by medical professionals? Does the affordance of crowdsourcing make users feel like they themselves could be contributors, and does that influence their credibility judgments? We explored these questions with a 2 (Crowdsourcing: absence vs. presence) × 2 (Professional source: absence vs. presence) × 2 (Message: sunscreen vs. milk) between-subjects experiment (N = 189). Two indirect paths for crowdsourcing effects were found. The crowd-as-source path suggests that crowdsour- cing negatively affects content credibility through decreased source trustworthiness and information completeness. In contrast, the self-as-source path indicates that crowdsourcing elevates source trust- worthiness via heightened interactivity and sense of control. Although the additional professional source raises perceived gatekeeping on the site, it does not have substantial influence on credibility judgments. Theoretical and practical implications of the findings are discussed.
... Various factors influence information seekers' credibility and trustworthiness judgments [15][16][17], but the language style of an information source seems to be an especially influential factor [18][19][20][21][22]. Thon and Jucks [18], for example, showed that the authors of health information forum posts were rated as more trustworthy and their information as more credible when they used an everyday language style (eg, "heart attack") instead of a technical language style (eg, "myocardial infarction"). Furthermore, Mayweg-Paus and Jucks [22] showed that participants accepted information from an online health article to a higher degree and processed it in more depth when the article was written in a tentative language style (eg, "is presumably similar") rather than a nontentative language style (eg, "is similar"). ...
... Various factors influence information seekers' credibility and trustworthiness judgments [15][16][17], but the language style of an information source seems to be an especially influential factor [18][19][20][21][22]. Thon and Jucks [18], for example, showed that the authors of health information forum posts were rated as more trustworthy and their information as more credible when they used an everyday language style (eg, "heart attack") instead of a technical language style (eg, "myocardial infarction"). Furthermore, Mayweg-Paus and Jucks [22] showed that participants accepted information from an online health article to a higher degree and processed it in more depth when the article was written in a tentative language style (eg, "is presumably similar") rather than a nontentative language style (eg, "is similar"). ...
Article
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Background: To decide whether online health information is reliable, information seekers apply 2 stretegies: first, information seekers can make credibility judgments by using their prior knowledge to evaluate the validity of the encountered health claim. Second, instead of evaluating the health claim itself, information seekers can make trustworthiness judgments by evaluating the character of the information source. In recent years, information givers from various professions have begun to use enthusiastic language to disseminate their information and persuade their audiences. Objective: To systematically explore this phenomenon, the goal of this study was to answer the following research questions: (1) does an enthusiastic language style, in comparison with a neutral language style, increase the trustworthiness of a person arguing in an online health forum and the credibility of his or her information? (2) does working for a university, in comparison with working for a lobbying organization, increase the trustworthiness of a person arguing in an online health forum and the credibility of his or her information? (3) does working for a university in combination with using an enthusiastic language style result in especially high trustworthiness and credibility ratings? Methods: In a 2x2 between-subject online experiment, 270 participants read a post from an online health forum and subsequently rated the trustworthiness of the forum post author and the credibility of his information. A total of 2 aspects of the forum post varied, namely the professional affiliation of the forum post author (whether the person introduced himself as a scientist or a lobbyist) and his language style (whether he used a neutral language style or an enthusiastic language style). Results: When the forum post author used an enthusiastic language style, he was perceived as more manipulative (P<.001), less knowledgeable (P<.001), and his information was perceived as less credible (P<.001). Overall, scientists were perceived as less manipulative (P=.04) than lobbyists. Furthermore, language style and professional affiliation interacted: When the forum post author was a lobbyist, language style did not affect integrity (P=.96) and benevolence (P=.79) ratings. However, when the forum post author was a scientist, enthusiastic language led to lower integrity (P=.002) and benevolence (P<.001) ratings than neutral language. Conclusions: The current findings illustrate that health information seekers do not just react to online health information itself. In addition, they are also sensitive to the ways in which health information is presented (“Which langue style is used to communicate health information?”) and who presents it (“Who does the health information source work for?”).
... Existing studies have explored the potential factors affecting online information credibility in general (Cheung, Lee & Rabjohn, 2008Fogg, 2003;Jung, Walsh-Childers & Kim, 2016;Qiu, Pang & Lim, 2012;Thon & Jucks, 2017) and information credibility on social media in particular (Aladhadh, Zhang & Sanderson, 2019;Borah & Xiao, 2018;Cooley & Parks-Yancy, 2019;Shariff, Zhang & Sanderson, 2017;Xie, Wang, Chen & Xiang, 2016;Yin, Sun, Fang & Lim, 2018). However, the research into user evaluation of microblog information credibility is still in an early stage, and a holistic perspective is lacking because few unique and contextual features of microblogs have been identified. ...
... Message content: message accuracy Sender-related factor: source expertise Thon and Jucks (2017) Online health information credibility Sender-related factor: medical vs. nonmedical, authors' language use (technical vs. every day) Information credibility on social media Xie et al. (2016) Information credibility on microblogs Sender-related factor: gatekeeping behavior of microblog users Shariff et al. (2017) Credibility evaluation of news on Twitter ...
Article
The spreading of misinformation and disinformation is a great problem on microblogs, leading user evaluation of information credibility a critical issue. This study incorporates two message format factors related to multimedia usage on microblogs (vividness and multimedia diagnosticity) with two well-discussed factors for information credibility (i.e., argument quality and source credibility) as a holistic framework to investigate user evaluation of microblog information credibility. Further, the study draws on two-factor theory and its variant three-factor lens to explain the nonlinear effects of the above factors on microblog information credibility. An online survey was conducted to test the proposed framework by collecting data from microblog users. The research findings reveal that for the effects on microblog information credibility: (1) argument quality (a hygiene factor) exerts a decreasing incremental effect; (2) source credibility (a bivalent factor) exerts only a linear effect; and (3) multimedia diagnosticity (a motivating factor) exerts an increasing incremental effect. This study adds to current knowledge about information credibility by proposing an insightful framework to understand the key predictors of microblog information credibility and further examining the nonlinear effects of these predictors.
... As has been pointed out in previous studies of health communication (cf. Borah and Xiao, 2018;Paige et al., 2018;Thon and Jucks, 2017), readers' attitudes toward the credibility of online information may be subject to their level of health literacy and the authenticity of the information from the site source. Nevertheless, how EL affects people's perceptions of health information remains under-exploited. ...
... The third consideration concerns the reader's reactions, particularly in terms of trust and skepticism. The health professional writes to the best of his/her knowledge, but studies show that the perceptions of online health information vary (Thon and Jucks, 2017). The current study also confirms this as the use of relatively precise figures particularly generated the trust-skepticism type of reaction. ...
Article
Informed by integrative pragmatics, elasticity theory and framing theory, this study attempts to understand how Chinese elastic language (EL) in the online health context is perceived. Drawing on data from online health information and based on the results of questionnaires distributed to 516 Taiwanese university students, this study investigates the perceptions of EL in online health information for the public. The questionnaire, containing six short excerpts in Chinese, is designed to gain the respondents’ perceptions of EL vis-à-vis non-EL. Analyzing respondents’ explanations of their preferences for EL or non-EL, we identified six frames that motivated the explanations. Each of the frames has two tendencies/ends: positive-negative communication effects; trust-skepticism; lay-professional; folk-idiosyncratic; voluntary-involuntary action; and difference-indifference. The respondents’ explanations were coded using the identified frames. The results show a hierarchical orderliness of frames that explains respondents’ attitudes toward EL and non-EL: communication, folk-idiosyncratic, trust-skepticism, followed by the action frame. This project aims to enhance a better understanding between health professionals’ use of EL and the public's perceptions of such language and to provide useful recommendations regarding the use of EL in online health communication. (The article is available for free at the following site: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0024384119304991
... In such situations, information seekers base their credibility and trustworthiness judgments on factors that surround health claims. Two factors that seem especially important are the professional affiliation of an information source and the information source's language style [13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23]. ...
... In the context of language styles, it has been shown that information sources who aggressively communicate health information are judged to be less trustworthy, and their information is deemed less credible [19]. Aggressive language, however, is not the only language style that influences trustworthiness and credibility ratings: enthusiastic [20], technical [17], tentative [14], and conversational [23] language styles also influence the credibility of online health information and the trustworthiness of information sources. Furthermore, it has been shown that language and word choices do not just influence credibility and trustworthiness judgments, but other outcomes as well [24][25][26]. ...
Article
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Background When searching for health information, many people use the internet as their first source of information. In online health forums, for example, users post their questions and exchange health advice. In recent years, information givers from various professions have begun to use positive language (indicated by the frequent use of positively valenced adjectives) to communicate their information and persuade their audiences. Objective The goal of the current study was to answer the following research questions: (1) How does positive language, in comparison to neutral language, influence the trustworthiness of a person arguing in an online health forum and the credibility of their health claims; (2) How does working for a university, compared to working for a lobbying organization, influence the trustworthiness of a person arguing in an online health forum and the credibility of their health claims; and (3) Do the two factors of language style and professional affiliation interact with each other to influence trustworthiness and credibility judgments? Methods In a 2 × 2 between-subject experiment, 242 participants read a post from an online health forum and subsequently rated the trustworthiness of the forum post author and the credibility of their information. Within the post, the professional affiliation (scientist vs lobbyist) and language style (neutral vs positive) of the forum post author was varied. ResultsWhen the forum post author used a positive language style, they were perceived as less trustworthy (high Machiavellianism [P
... In prior research, expertise and trustworthiness have been shown to be the two most commonly identified dimensions of source credibility (Lee and Sundar, 2013). Individuals perceive an online health message to be more credible when it has been created by an expert rather than a layperson (Thon and Jucks, 2016). Meanwhile, source trustworthiness appears to be influential in determining the credibility of the forwarded health content (Lee and Sundar, 2013). ...
Article
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to investigate why users are willing to diffuse healthcare knowledge in social media by drawing on the communicative ecology theory (CET) and prior research on interpersonal communication. Design/methodology/approach This paper conducts a large-scale scenario-based online survey in WeChat (the most popular social media platform in China) to test the proposed research model and hypotheses. The final data set consists of 1,039 useful responses from WeChat users. Findings The results indicate that interestingness, emotionality and institution-based trust are the strongest antecedents in predicting healthcare knowledge-diffusing likelihood, followed by usefulness, source credibility and positivity. Further, the relationship between institution-based trust and healthcare knowledge-diffusing likelihood is partially mediated by source credibility. Practical implications Healthcare practitioners who seek to motivate individuals to disseminate healthcare knowledge need to phrase or frame healthcare knowledge in a way that draws greater interest, evokes stronger emotion, increases perceived usefulness or reflects positively on themselves. Healthcare organizations should also pay attention to strengthening users’ trust in the platform and source-related information that can indicate source authority. Originality/value This study is one of the first to investigate the dissemination of healthcare knowledge in the context of social media (WeChat in particular). Compared with other types of information, healthcare knowledge is more scientific and professional to the extent that most laypersons do not have relevant expertise to directly evaluate whether the content is credible and of high quality. Rather, their sharing likelihood is dependent more on other factors than perceived information quality and credibility; those factors include platform-related factors that may play an important role but has been overlooked in prior literature on interpersonal communication. By combining CET with interpersonal communication-related research and including institution-based trust as an important determinant of healthcare knowledge dissemination, this study provides a comprehensive analysis of healthcare knowledge diffusion process.
... However, other work suggests that the public also mistrusts health experts on many health issues (Cummings, 2014). Previous work health behavior change messages paints a mixed picture, with some work suggesting that experts are more trusted and persuasive at convincing individuals to adopt healthy behaviors (e.g., Case et al., 2018;Freed et al., 2011;Kareklas et al., 2015;Thon & Jucks, 2017), and other work showing no effect of source expertise (e.g., Burrows et al., 2000;Hu & Shyam Sundar, 2010;Poorisat et al., 2019). ...
Article
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The present work empirically explores whether experts are trusted more or more persuasive than an “average Joe” when engaging in policy advocacy on public health topics. I conducted a 2 (topic: climate change vs. COVID-19) X 2 (source: expert vs. nonexpert) experimental study with an US adult sample (N = 486). Using Bayes factors to quantify evidence for null and alternative hypothesis, I find substantial evidence that at least under the conditions present in the study, experts are perceived to be higher in expertise, but equal in trustworthiness to the “average Joe”. In turn, experts are equally persuasive to nonexperts on both topics. My work suggests that when engaging in policy advocacy on public health matters, the fact that an advocate is an expert on a topic can be acknowledged by audiences, but this may not necessarily help (nor necessarily harm) one’s perceived trustworthiness or ability to persuade an audience. More research is needed to understand how experts can bolster their trustworthiness and persuasiveness when advocating for public health policies.
... Another prominent example of explicit communication of communal knowledge involves categories at the superordinate level: The set of accepted and communicated disciplines can guide the way an individual breaks the world up into ontological domains and consequently who they turn to for epistemic assistance. Thon and Jucks (2017) provide evidence that individuals pervasively and effortlessly take advantage of this source of information: Simply mentioning the name of a discipline can conjure up strong intuitions regarding the scope of an individual's ...
... Perceptions of source trustworthiness in turn affect evaluations of claims or information stemming from that source [7,[20][21][22][23]. Most research has scrutinized the direct effect of source features on trustworthiness and credibility evaluations but there is evidence that these features can affect the quality of reasoning in experimental tasks, particularly when a source is perceived as not trustworthy. ...
Article
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In public disputes, stakeholders sometimes misrepresent statistics or other types of scientific evidence to support their claims. One of the reasons this is problematic is that citizens often do not have the motivation nor the cognitive skills to accurately judge the meaning of statistics and thus run the risk of being misinformed. This study reports an experiment investigating the conditions under which people become vigilant towards a source’s claim and thus reason more carefully about the supporting evidence. For this, participants were presented with a claim by a vested-interest or a neutral source and with statistical evidence which was cited by the source as being in support of the claim. However, this statistical evidence actually contradicted the source’s claim but was presented as a contingency table, which are typically difficult for people to interpret correctly. When the source was a lobbyist arguing for his company’s product people were better at interpreting the evidence compared to when the same source argued against the product. This was not the case for a different vested-interests source nor for the neutral source. Further, while all sources were rated as less trustworthy when participants realized that the source had misrepresented the evidence, only for the lobbyist source was this seen as a deliberate attempt at deception. Implications for research on epistemic trust, source credibility effects and science communication are discussed.
... The trustfulness frame corresponds especially to Grice's (1975) maxim of quality: the speaker tries to be truthful and does not give false or unsubstantiated information. This frame includes feedback on the credibility of the EL or non-EL used, in particular whether participants thought the EL or non-EL was trustworthy or not; this relates to online users' level of health literacy and the source of the information (Thon and Jucks 2017;Borah and Xiao 2018;Paige, Krieger and Stellefson 2018). Tseng and Zhang (2020) argue that the trustfulness frame may be activated when numbers are involved, based on their work indicating that trustfulness is brought up only when a specific number, with or without an approximator, occurred in the data. ...
Article
Based on questionnaire data in response to six excerpts of Australian online health information, this study investigates university students' attitudes towards elastic language (EL). The findings show that averaging all six cases a neutral attitude is found, with no strong preference for EL or non-EL. This indicates that it is unnecessary to deliberately use more or less EL-the key is to use EL appropriately when and where it is needed. Examining the reasons for participants' choices, we identify ten frames. Often the same EL generated positive and negative comments: a phenomenon that can be explained in terms of two sides of a frame. The findings may help healthcare professionals to deliver medical information in ways most accessible to the public and to find effective ways of communicating uncertainty. A 'one fits all' rule for language use does not exist, and instead multiple standards guide our use of it.
... Given the information saturation and subsequent cognitive exhaustion often experienced in the mediarich environment on SNS, source credibility might serve as the ideal cue for resharing content. Indeed, a recent study examined the effect of author credentials on health information seekers' perceptions regarding information credibility and found that when the author was framed as a medical expert, people were more likely to believe the content (Thon & Jucks, 2017). Yet another research reports the influence of design elements and visual cues on health content credibility perceptions (Jung, Chung, & Rhee, 2018). ...
Article
As many as 130 lives are lost every day in the United States due to prescription drug misuse. The opioid crisis is gripping the country and disrupting the lives of millions. Not surprisingly, health organizations are desperately seeking solutions to educate and inform people regarding the issue, often seeking the help of various social media platforms. In this study, we do a content analysis of Twitter messages related to opioids in order to understand the factors that are most likely to influence content sharing. Our findings indicate that structure, source, and the actual content of the post all influence the likelihood of the content’s being shared. Specifically, certain types of content enhanced the likelihood of content sharing whereas use of the term “addiction” discouraged retweeting. Theoretical and practical implications for message design are discussed.
... Dictionary definitions typically refer to an expert as one who is skilful, well informed or a reliable source of knowledge, technique or skill (Ericsson, 2018). Expertise can be defined absolutely (e.g., ten years of training) or relatively (e.g., 'experts' versus 'novices'), and is generally used either to refer to top performance (e.g., Olympic athletes) or knowledge (e.g., doctors; Thon & Jucks, 2017). For the purposes of this thesis, expertise is used in reference to the latter -knowledge, and the general characteristic of 'knowledgeability' (Guilamo-Ramos et al., 2006), rather than in terms of making a distinction between 'experts' and 'novices'. ...
Thesis
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This thesis investigates the effect of communication format on the understanding of uncertainty communications and considers the implications of these findings for a communicator’s perceived credibility. The research compares five formats: verbal probability expressions (VPEs; e.g., ‘unlikely’); numerical expressions – point (e.g., ‘20% likelihood’) and range estimates (e.g., ‘10–30% likelihood’); and mixed expressions in two orders (verbal-numerical, e.g., ‘unlikely [20% likelihood]’ and numerical-verbal format, e.g., ‘20% likelihood [unlikely]’). Using the ‘which-outcome’ methodology, we observe that when participants are asked to estimate the probability of the outcome of a natural hazard that is described as ‘unlikely’, the majority indicate outcomes with a value exceeding the maximum value shown, equivalent to a 0% probability. Extending this work to numerical and mixed formats, we find that 0% interpretations are also given to communications using a verbal-numerical format (Chapter 2). If ‘unlikely’ is interpreted as referring to events which will never occur, there could be implications for a communicator’s perceived credibility should an ‘unlikely’ event actually occur. In the low probability domain, we find a communicator who uses a verbal format in their prediction is perceived as less credible and less correct than one who uses a numerical format. However, in the high probability domain (where a ‘likely’ event does not occur) such an effect of format is not consistently observed (Chapter 3). We suggest ‘directionality–outcome congruence’ can explain these findings. For example, the negatively directional term ‘unlikely’ led to harsher ratings because the outcome was counter to the original focus of the prediction (i.e., on its non-occurrence). Comparing communications featuring positively and negatively directional VPEs, we find that communicators are perceived as less credible and less correct given directionality–outcome incongruence (Chapter 4). Our findings demonstrate the influence of pragmatics on (a) the understanding of uncertainty communications and (b) perceived communicator credibility.
... In their work, they found that respondents who exhibited a conspiracy mentality consistently assigned lower ratings of credibility to powerful sources (experts) and assigned higher ratings of credibility to powerless sources (non-experts) (1374). Thon and Jucks (2017) found that although information users attributed a source's credentials (medical vs. non-medical) as more credible, technical language use negatively affected user's opinions regarding the source's integrity and ultimately their credibility. Accordingly, the use of technical language in itself will not help sources establish themselves as experts in online health communication. ...
Article
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This study conceptualizes, operationalizes, and identifies the drivers of online product review (OPR) relevance and examines its relative effect on OPR impact compared to review credibility. In contrast to previous studies, this study is the first to conceptualize review credibility as a distinct construct from reviewer expertise and trustworthiness comprising a cognitive-affective dimension (perceptions) and a behavioral dimension (likelihood to act). Results show that review relevance contributes significantly to explaining OPR impact and that review relevance and review credibility (drivers of OPR impact) provide a significantly better fit to the empirical data than review credibility alone. In fact, review relevance is almost an equally strong driver of OPR impact as review credibility. However, the relationships between review credibility and its two hypothesized drivers—reviewer trustworthiness and reviewer expertise—are mixed. While a significant positive relationship is found between credibility and trustworthiness, as expected, a significant negative relationship is found between credibility and expertise.
... Additionally, features of the message ("message" addresses not only the transmitted content, but also discourse style, such as the language used or the overall logic of argumentation) determine how a scientific claim is interpreted, but they might also offer relevant information about its source. For example, the use of technical language might be a cue for readers to make judgments about the trustworthiness of a communicator (Thon and Jucks 2017), while the use of comprehensible language might reduce laypeople's perceived need to consult further experts, which might display an overconfidence in their own judgments' capabilities about scientific claims (easiness effect, e. g. Scharrer et al. 2012). ...
Chapter
In this article, we describe how laypeople are able to engage with science and scientific issues in spite of their bounded understanding (limited relevant back- ground knowledge about science and about how science works). Drawing on psycho- logical and related research, we describe that laypeople engage with science and sci- entific issues, either by aiming to gain available skills and knowledge to understand scientific information (scientific literacy), or by selectively and considerately placing trust in science or scientific experts. While we argue that most of such reasoning about scientific evidence and arguments can be called reasonable and expedient, we also identify some reasons why understanding might fail, for example because certain pitfalls of science communication might foster misinformation. In our conclusion, we briefly provide some ways in which science communication might protect against fostering laypeople’s flawed reasoning.
... What can we expect in regard to how the different kinds of attacks on a scientific claim affect agreement with the user comment, agreement with and credibility of the attacked claim, and perceived trustworthiness of the source of the claim? The expertise and motivations of scientists have been found to affect trustworthiness and credibility (Critchley, 2008;Hendriks et al., 2015;König and Jucks, 2019b;Lombardi et al., 2013;Thon and Jucks, 2017). Furthermore, people use information about research methods to evaluate scientific claims (Sadler, 2004;Wolters et al., 2016) and the certainty or uncertainty of a scientific claim predicts preference, plausibility, and trustworthiness (Jensen, 2008;Lombardi et al., 2013). ...
Article
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The science on controversial topics is often heatedly discussed on social media, a potential problem for social-media-based science communicators. Therefore, two exploratory studies were performed to investigate the effects of science-critical user comments attacking Facebook posts containing scientific claims. The claims were about one of four controversial topics (homeopathy, genetically modified organisms, refugee crime, and childhood vaccinations). The user comments attacked the claims based on the thematic complexity, the employed research methods, the expertise, or the motivations of the researchers. The results reveal that prior attitudes determine judgments about the user comments, the attacked claims, and the source of the claim. After controlling for attitude, people agree most with thematic complexity comments, but the comments differ in their effect on perceived claim credibility only when the comments are made by experts. In addition, comments attacking researchers’ motivations were more effective in lowering perceived integrity while scientists’ perceived expertise remained unaffected.
... Hence, features such as study design or sample representativeness might be less important when teachers evaluate knowledge claims, whereas criteria such as perceived author expertise or integrity (so-called epistemic trustworthiness; Hendriks, Kienhues, & Bromme, 2015) become pivotal. Research into the predictors of epistemic trustworthiness, however, is still in its infancy (for the first experimental attempts, see, e.g., Hendriks, Kienhues, & Bromme, 2016a;Thon & Jucks, 2017). Do teachers and studentteachers see certain sources as more credible than others? ...
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In-service and preservice teachers are increasingly required to integrate research results into their classroom practice. However, due to their limited methodological background knowledge, they often cannot evaluate scientific evidence firsthand and instead must trust the sources on which they rely. In two experimental studies, we investigated the amount of this so-called epistemic trustworthiness (dimensions expertise, integrity, and benevolence) that student-teachers ascribe to the authors of texts who present classical research findings (e.g., learning with worked-out examples) that allegedly were written by a practitioner, an expert, or a scientist. Results from the first exploratory study suggest that student-teachers view scientists as “smart but evil,” since they rate them as having substantially more expertise than practitioners, while also being less benevolent and lacking in integrity. Moreover, results from the exploratory study suggest that evaluativistic epistemic beliefs (beliefs about the nature of knowledge) predict epistemic trustworthiness. A preregistered conceptual replication study (Study 2) provided more evidence for the “smart but evil” stereotype. Further directions of research as well as implications for practice are discussed.
... In experiment 1, when reputation cues were absent, the presence of emotions harmed the credibility and (only directionally) helpfulness of female-authored reviews, but did not affect the evaluation of male-authored reviews. This is in line with persuasion research findings (Burgoon et al., 1991;Thon & Jucks, 2017) demonstrating that high status sources are given license to use a variety of persuasive strategies, while low status sources are restricted to using low intensity language. For example, research on interpersonal communication in a health context showed that, while male physicians (who enjoyed high normative status) could use a variety of persuasive strategies with their patients, female physicians were restricted to using less intense persuasive language (Burgoon et al., 1991). ...
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The electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) literature supports the robust finding that negative reviews are generally more influential to consumer behavior than positive ones. Moreover, recent studies suggest that much of the negativity bias is driven by the distinct emotions embedded in the content of negative word-of-mouth (NWOM) and the interaction effects between emotions and other source factors. Although the gender of the information source is a common heuristic used in message evaluation, this is the first study to examine the effect of gender stereotypes on emotional NWOM. Two web-based experiments show that when reviewer reputation cues are present, emotional content in NWOM lowers the credibility of male reviewers and the helpfulness of their reviews, but does not affect female-authored reviews. In contrast, when reputation cues are absent, the presence of emotions in NWOM lowers the credibility of female reviewers, but not that of male reviewers. The reputation cue has a positive effect on NWOM credibility and helpfulness. Findings help companies understand the impact of gender stereotypes in online NWOM and detect the most helpful NWOM in order to correct product issues and improve future eWOM.
... When it comes to evaluating scientific claims, one factor that seems especially important is the language style that an information source uses. Thon and Jucks (2016), for example, varied whether forum posts containing scientific claims were written in a technical language style (e.g. "myocardial infarction") or in an everyday language style (e.g. ...
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Current scientific debates, such as on climate change, often involve emotional, hostile, and aggressive rhetorical styles. Those who read or listen to these kinds of scientific arguments have to decide whom they can trust and which information is credible. This study investigates how the language style (neutral vs aggressive) and the professional affiliation (scientist vs lobbyist) of a person arguing in a scientific debate influence his trustworthiness and the credibility of his information. In a 2 X 2 between-subject online experiment, participants watched a scientific debate. The results show that if the person was introduced as a lobbyist, he was perceived as less trustworthy. However, the person's professional affiliation did not affect the credibility of his information. If the person used an aggressive language style, he was perceived as less trustworthy. Furthermore, his information was perceived as less credible, and participants had the impression that they learned less from the scientific debate.
... First, we included three broad messaging tactics that might be broadly useful for fostering positive beliefs about the communicator, including choosing to speak in more or less formal ways to better CONNECT with different audiences (Thon & Jucks, 2017), to FRAME issues in ways meant to resonate with specific audiences (Myers et al., 2012), and telling compelling STORIES meant to provide insight into a speakers' motivation and journey (Olson, 2015). The storytelling tactic was the only tactic included in the study that we sought to extend, but it is one that is often discussed by trainers (Dudo et al., 2021). ...
Article
The careful choice of tactics—such as specific messages, styles, channels, or sources—is how strategic science communicators ensure that the time and money going into communication results in intended changes to chosen audiences’ beliefs, feelings, and frames, as well as associated behaviors. Using a sample of scientists from American research universities ( N = 516), we assess scientists’ willingness to use 11 different communication tactics and the relationship between these tactics and potential predictors. We find that scientists are open to a range of communication tactics. Practical and theoretical implications for science communication are discussed.
... First, research shows the public relies on source cues to process information (Botero et al. 2015;Hartman and Weber 2009), assessing source credibility (Darmofal 2005) and often overlooking information credibility. That is, people are more persuaded by arguments given by expertsthose possessing formal qualifications or experience on the issue (Thon and Jucks 2017). This reliance on expert cues could be exacerbated during a health pandemic, when people may suspend their many biasesinstead prioritizing accuracy goals in line with their own safety. ...
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The health and economic outcomes of the COVID-19 pandemic will in part be determined by how effectively experts can communicate information to the public and the degree to which people follow expert recommendation. Using a survey experiment conducted in May of 2020 with almost 5,000 respondents, this paper examines the effect of source cues and message frames on perceptions of information credibility in the context of COVID-19. Each health recommendation was framed by expert or non-expert sources, was fact- or experience-based, and suggested potential gain or loss to test if either the source cue or framing of issues affected responses to the pandemic. We find no evidence that either source cue or message framing influence people’s responses—instead, respondents’ ideological predispositions, media consumption, and age explain much of the variation in survey responses, suggesting that public health messaging may face challenges from growing ideological cleavages in American politics.
... Assessable designs should facilitate the understanding of how the information in internet-based participatory environments is produced, how an environment is sustained, and how to contribute to the space [86]. In fact, prior research investigating the processes individuals use to determine credibility found that users are likely to refer to the source; sources are deemed more credible if the poster is a professional expert or an expert according to community status or past engagement [87][88][89]. ...
Article
Background: Information behavior describes all human behaviors in relation to information. Individuals experiencing disruption or stigma often use internet-based tools and spaces to meet their associated information needs. One such context is pregnancy loss, which, although impactful and common, has been absent from much of feminist and reproductive health and information behavior scholarship. By understanding information behavior after pregnancy loss and accounting for it in designing internet-based information spaces, we can take a meaningful step toward countering the stigma and silence that many who experience such loss endure, facilitate coping, and make space for diverse pregnancy narratives in our society. Objective: This study's objective is to provide a characterization of internet-based information behavior after pregnancy loss. Methods: We examined internet-based information behavior after pregnancy loss through 9 in-depth interviews with individuals residing in the United States. We analyzed the data by using open and axial coding. Results: We identified the following three themes in relation to participants' information behavior in internet-based spaces: needed information types, information-related concerns, and information outcomes. We drew from information behavior frameworks to interpret the processes and concerns described by participants as they moved from recognizing information needs to searching for information and to using information and experiencing outcomes. Specifically, we aligned these themes with information use concepts from the information behavior literature-information search, knowledge construction, information production, information application, and information effects. Participants' main concerns centered on being able to easily find information (ie, searchability), particularly on topics that had already been covered (ie, persistence), and, once found, being able to assess the information for its relevance, helpfulness, and credibility (ie, assessability). We suggest the following design implications that support health information behavior: assessability, persistence, and searchability. Conclusions: We examined internet-based information behavior in the context of pregnancy loss, an important yet silenced reproductive health experience. Owing to the prevalence of information seeking during pregnancy, we advocate that generic pregnancy-related information spaces should address the needs related to pregnancy loss that we identified in addition to spaces dedicated to pregnancy loss. Such a shift could not only support those who use these spaces to manage pregnancies and then experience a loss but also help combat the silence and stigma associated with loss and the linear and normative narrative by which pregnancies are often represented.
... The inventory since has been re-evaluated in further studies, where model fit and reliability replicated well (e.g., Merk and Rosman 2019), and has been used to investigate several questions in the context of online science communication. For example, the METI has been employed to investigate whether laypeople adapt their trustworthiness ratings about scientist blog authors who disclose ethical aspects related to their field of study (Hendriks et al. 2016b), who use technical language (Thon and Jucks 2017;Zimmermann and Jucks 2018), who use aggressive language (König and Jucks 2019), or who are attacked in social media (Gierth and Bromme 2020). ...
Chapter
Trust plays a pivotal role in many different contexts and thus has been investigated by researchers in a variety of disciplines. In this chapter, we provide a comprehensive overview of methodological approaches to investigating trust and its antecedents. We explain how quantitative methods may be used to measure expectations about a trustee or instances of communication about trust efficiently, and we explain how using qualitative measures may be beneficial to researching trust in less explored contexts and for further theory development. We further point out that mixed methods research (uniting both quantitative and qualitative approaches) may be able to grasp the full complexity of trust. Finally, we introduce how agent-based modeling may be used to simulate and predict complex trust relationships on different levels of analysis. We elaborate on challenges and advantages of all these different methodological approaches to researching trust and conclude with recommendations to guide trust researchers in their planning of future investigations on both situational trust and long-term developments of trust in different contexts, and we emphasize why we believe that such undertakings will benefit from interdisciplinary approaches.
... Nonetheless, from a communication-centered perspective, it is reasonable to assume that the perceived capability of interlocutors is related to their credibility and persuasiveness (Burgoon et al., 1990;Thon & Jucks, 2017). The current study has obtained empirical evidence to corroborate this classic notion in a modern organizational setting and thereby bridged the gap between the literatures on innovation diffusion, leadership for change, and uncertainty management. ...
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This study coupled the theory of uncertainty management (TUM) with the notion of transformational leadership (TFL) to examine how the uncertainty over the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies affects employees. SEM analyses with two-wave data collected in Japan (N = 1318 employee–supervisor dyads) revealed that uncertainty is negatively associated and TFL is positively associated with employees’ job performance. In addition, consistent with TUM, the digital literacy of leaders was found to moderate the effects of TFL such that the positive association between TFL and job performance disappeared when employees simultaneously feel high uncertainty and find supervisors low on digital literacy. These findings are discussed with reference to the relevant literature.
... In addition, it also becomes difficult when a health professional uses technical jargon. Resorting to too much technical jargon has the possibility to reduce the dissemination of knowledge, because forum users with less contextual expertise might find it less credible (Thon and Jucks, 2017). Hence, to deal with such circumstances, individuals actively seek additional information (Lagoe and Atkin, 2015). ...
Article
This research establishes a theoretical framework for evaluating antecedents of the information seeking behaviors of online forum participants with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). We evaluated the proposed framework using partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) after gathering data using a cross-sectional survey. We subsequently assessed the framework using importance-performance map analysis (IPMA). Findings suggest that perceived ease of use does not singularly influence COPD forum users' information seeking behavior. IPMA analysis reveals that the opportunity to interact with other forum members creates the greatest impact on COPD forum users' mindsets, among all the indicators. For healthcare professionals, the results of this study provide a blueprint in terms of utilizing COPD online forums to foster recurrent associations among forum administrators and users and by creating a strong social and informational resource for COPD information seekers.
... Similarly, the use of highly technical language in health education materials negatively affects the perceived expertise of the author and the credibility of the information [18]. Overuse of medical jargon is a potential consequence of training clinicians in medical Spanish or other languages. ...
Article
Introduction Patient-clinician communication is a key factor in patient satisfaction with care. Clinicians take medical language courses to improve communication with linguistically diverse populations, yet little is known about how patients perceive clinicians' skills. Methods We designed a prospective, comparative survey study of patient perception of clinician communication using a convenience sampling of health professionals enrolled in an interprofessional medical Spanish course. We analyzed the patient-reported quality of communication skills from 214 clinical encounters and self-evaluations of 18 clinicians with Spanish- and English-speaking patients. Results Communication scores were lower for Spanish vs. English encounters as reported by both patients and clinicians (p<0.001). Clinician-reported scores were lower than patient-reported scores in Spanish encounters (9.05±0.23 vs. 8.05±0.23; p<0.001), whereas there was no difference in English encounters (11.17±0.15 vs. 11.35±0.19; p=0.914). The effect of language remained significant (p<0.001) when controlling for medical setting and complexity. Conclusion Spanish-speaking patients report lower-quality communication from clinicians learning Spanish than do English-speaking patients. Incorporating and further evaluating patient perceptions of clinician Spanish communication skills may improve language-appropriate healthcare and clinician education.
... In online communities, users communicate via the same platform, so information source credibility is derived from the trustworthiness of individual users. In addition, users rely on the source's credibility to make decisions about further communication [63,64]. Previous research has demonstrated that source credibility is an important antecedent variable in information adoption, including the identity of the information provider and their influence within the virtual community [30,43]. ...
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An online community is one of the important ways for people with mental disorders to receive assistance and obtain support. This study aims to help users with mental disorders to obtain more support and communication through online communities, and to provide community managers with the possible influence mechanisms based on the information adoption model. We obtained a total of 49,047 posts of an online mental health communities in China, over a 40-day period. Then we used a combination of text mining and empirical analysis. Topic and sentiment analysis were used to derive the key variables—the topic of posts that the users care about most, and the emotion scores contained in posts. We then constructed a theoretical model based on the information adoption model. As core independent variables of information quality, on online mental health communities, the topic of social experience in posts (0.368 ***), the topic of emotional expression (0.353 ***), and the sentiment contained in the text (0.002 *) all had significant positive relationships with the number of likes and reposts. This study found that the users of online mental health communities are more attentive to the topics of social experience and emotional expressions, while they also care about the non-linguistic information. This study highlights the importance of helping community users to post on community-related topics, and gives administrators possible ways to help users gain the communication and support they need.
... In addition to the credibility of the video information, trust in the uploader is an important source of trust in the uploaded video information. Previous studies have shown that audiences must first judge the credibility of the video uploader, before deciding whether to conduct further communication [59][60][61]. An audience's trust in an uploader comes from their influence and certification on the platform [62]. ...
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(1) Background: During the COVID-19 pandemic, users share and obtain COVID-19 information through video platforms, but only a few COVID-19 videos become popular among most audiences. Therefore, it is a very interesting and important research question to explore the influencing factors of the popularity of COVID-19 videos during the COVID-19 pandemic; (2) Our research collects video data related to the keyword “COVID-19” on video platform, the data are analyzed by content analysis and empirical analysis. We then constructed a theoretical model based on the information adoption model; (3) A total of 251 videos were divided into three categories. The least common category was the data and analysis category (11.2%), followed by the prevention and control status category (13.5%); the knowledge and general science category was the most common (75.3%). From the perspective of video quality, the information sources of most videos are relatively reliable, and the content of medical information is low. The research results showed that short video lengths, longer descriptions, more reliable video sources and lower medical information content were more popular with audiences. Audiences are more likely to be attracted to videos in the prevention and control status category and knowledge and general science category. Videos uploaded by uploaders who have a higher influence are more popular with audiences; (4) Conclusion: During the COVID-19 pandemic, information quality (video length, description length, video content type, and medical information and content index) and source credibility (information source reliability, influence and certification type) all significantly influence the popularity level of COVID-19 videos. Our research conclusions can provide management suggestions for the platform, make videos released by uploaders more popular with audiences, and help audiences better understand COVID-19 information and make prevention and control efforts.
... On another note, the communication of uncertainty can be viewed as one among many characteristics that characterize a scientific discourse style. Future studies should take such other features into account to study the extent to which different markers of "scientificness" such as the use of citations (Thomm & Bromme, 2012), the application of jargon (Shulman et al., 2020) or the use of technical language (Thon & Jucks, 2017) affect the perceived trustworthiness of a SI. As uncertainty is not usually communicated isolated from other information, future research could also investigate how additionally given information, such as explaining the relevance or cause of uncertainty, affect source trustworthiness (cf. ...
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Scientific knowledge is intrinsically uncertain; hence, it can only provide a tentative orientation for political decisions. One illustrative example is the discussion that has taken place on introducing mandatory mask-wearing to contain the coronavirus. In this context, this study investigates how the communication of uncertainty regarding the effectiveness of mandatory mask-wearing affects the perceived trustworthiness of communicators. Participants ( N = 398) read a fictitious but evidence-based text supporting mandatory mask-wearing. First, epistemic uncertainty was communicated by including a high (vs. low) amount of lexical hedges (LHs) to the text (e.g., “maybe”). Second, we varied whether the source of information was a scientist or a politician. Thereafter, participants rated the source's trustworthiness. Results show that the scientist was perceived as more competent and as having more integrity but not as more benevolent than the politician. The use of LHs did not impact trustworthiness ratings.
... A message can be considered expert when the source enables easy engagement for both experienced users and beginners (Guido, Prete & Sammarco, 2010). More recent studies in different contexts, including tourism and online healthcare, have also emphasised the substantial effects of source trustworthiness on various consumers' attitudes, information adoption intentions (Balouchi, et al., 2017;Ayeh et al., 2013;Thon & Jucks, 2017;Thomas et al., 2019;Lo & Yao, 2019). Perceived expertise is important for organisations as it allows for increased visibility (Treem & Leonardi, 2013), although to our knowledge, this was not incorporated in practice. ...
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This study examines the effect of consumers’ perceived credibility of information on SNS on their attitude and intention to adopt this information in the Arab world. The study adopted a quantitative research approach using a survey questionnaire conducted among 317 individuals. Structural equation modelling was conducted. The results highlighted that there are positive direct effects of authority cues, expertise, trustworthiness, social identity and argument strength on perceived credibility. Although both authority cues and transparency have non-significant direct effects on perceived credibility, they have positive direct effects on attitude and indirect effects on intention via attitude. Finally, the positive impact of credibility on intention is mediated by attitude. This study contributes to the literature on the credibility of information on SNS and its effect on consumers’ intention to adopt it.
Article
Online health reviews are powerful since people use them to glean information about medical professionals. Nonetheless, less is known about what strategies can cultivate positive relationships with consumers when the latter are exposed to patient reviews. A 2 (review valence: negative vs. positive) x 3 (message interactivity: low vs medium vs high) x 2 (review responding source: customer service representative vs. dentist) between-subjects (N = 410) online experiment was conducted. The results showed that positive reviews (vs. negative reviews) and increased organizational responsiveness led to more favorable prospective patient reactions toward the reviewed dental practice. Most importantly, this study detected a significant two-way interaction between review valence and message interactivity. As found, even in the presence of negative reviews higher levels of message interactivity on online review sites can significantly improve the health organization-public relationship (e.g., trust, commitment, satisfaction, control mutuality) as well as enhance organizational reputation and patient behavioral intentions. Mediation tests revealed that source credibility mediated the effects of the review responding source on the relational outcomes, organizational reputation, and consumer behavioral intentions. More specifically, when a dentist replied to the reviews prospective patients perceived favorably the dental clinic and were more likely to visit it in the future than when a customer service representative responded. Theoretical and practical implications for effective online relationship management in the healthcare industry are discussed.
Article
Background: The internet has become a major source of health information for general consumers. Web-based health information quality varies widely across websites and applications. It is critical to understand the factors that shape consumers' evaluation of web-based health information quality and the role that it plays in their appraisal and use of health information and information systems. Objective: This paper aimed to identify the antecedents and consequences of consumers' evaluation of web-based health information quality as a means to consolidate the related research stream and to inform future studies on web-based health information quality. Methods: We systematically searched 10 databases, examined reference lists, and conducted manual searches. Empirical studies that investigated consumers' evaluation of web-based health information quality, credibility, or trust and their respective relationships with antecedents or consequences were included. Results: We included 147 studies reported in 136 papers in the analysis. Among the antecedents of web-based health information quality, system navigability (ρ=0.56), aesthetics (ρ=0.49), and ease of understanding (ρ=0.49) had the strongest relationships with web-based health information quality. The strongest consequences of web-based health information quality were consumers' intentions to use health information systems (ρ=0.58) and satisfaction with health information (ρ=0.46). Web-based health information quality relationships were moderated by numerous cultural dimensions, research designs, and publication moderators. Conclusions: Consumers largely rely on peripheral cues and less on cues that require more information processing (eg, content comprehensiveness) to determine web-based health information quality. Surprisingly, the relationships between individual differences and web-based health information quality are trivial. Web-based health information quality has stronger effects on cognitive appraisals and behavioral intentions than on behavior. Despite efforts to include various moderators, a substantial amount of variance is still unexplained, indicating a need to study additional moderators. This meta-analysis provides broad and consistent evidence for web-based health information quality relationships that have been fractured and incongruent in empirical studies.
Article
Adopting the theory of planned behavior framework, this online experiment investigated the effects of social endorsement cues, message source, and responsibility attribution on young adults’ perceptions of COVID-19 vaccination and intentions to get vaccinated. Four major findings were identified. First, social endorsement cues positively affect attitude, subjective norms, and vaccination intentions. Second, individuals perceive an expert source as the most credible, but a media outlet source results in the most positive subjective norms. Third, responsibility attributions do not generate significant effects on the dependent variables. Finally, social endorsement cues and message source both have some interaction effects with perceived susceptibility to COVID-19 on message outcomes.
Chapter
As the world becomes more connected through social media, healthcare professionals are finding new ways to reach their patients and to gain more interested followers. More than half of Americans use Facebook for health information with expertise-based health information sites being more trusted. Healthcare professionals can augment their practice through social media channels, but engaging followers takes time and energy. Content curation is one way to get more ideas and information out to the electronic desktops of more people.
Article
In a rapidly changing and dynamic world, individuals’ propensity to trust is likely to become an increasingly important facet for understanding human behaviour, yet its measurement has mostly been unexplored. We undertake the first systematic qualitative survey of propensity to trust scales using qualitative meta-analysis methodology to review the literature (1966–2018) and identify 26 measures and their applications in 179 studies. Using content analysis, we thematically organise these scales into six thematic areas and discuss the emerging implications. We find that while most of these scales reflect propensity to trust in terms of a positive belief in human nature, other themes include general trust, role expectations, institutional trust, cautiousness and other personality attributes. We reveal significant methodological concerns regarding several scales and argue for more considered selection of scales for use in research. We examine the case for multidimensionality in measures of propensity to trust used within organisational research. Rather than treating a lack of generalisability of findings in existing organisational studies as purely a problem of measurement design, we instead outline an agenda for further conceptual and empirical study.
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The chapter provides a conceptual clarification of the concept 'public trust in science'. Our starting point is the model of trust formulated by Mayer, Davis, and Schoormann (1995), which has been widely used in trust research since then. Here, it is now specified for the context of citizens' encounter with science, by using the example of the COVID-19 pandemic, and in particular the Hydroxychloroquine controversy (which started with a heavily criticized as methodologically flawed study by French microbiologist D. Raoult, who continued to sell the study’s claims on the media). We differentiate trust from trustworthiness; and propose a distinction between epistemic trust (depending on science regarding the validity of knowledge) and instrumental trust (depending on science regarding its impact on one’s aims). We then introduce the notion of informed trust to describe that public trust in science has a rational basis. Finally, challenges and ways for the promotion of public trust in science are outlined.
Article
For laypeople, searching online health information resources can be challenging due to topic complexity and the large number of online sources with differing quality. The goal of this article is to examine, among all the available online sources, which online sources laypeople select to address their health‐related information needs, and whether or how much the severity of a health condition influences their selection. Twenty‐four participants were recruited individually, and each was asked (using a retrieval system called HIS) to search for information regarding a severe health condition and a mild health condition, respectively. The selected online health information sources were automatically captured by the HIS system and classified at both the website and webpage levels. Participants' selection behavior patterns were then plotted across the whole information‐seeking process. Our results demonstrate that laypeople's source selection fluctuates during the health information‐seeking process, and also varies by the severity of health conditions. This study reveals laypeople's real usage of different types of online health information sources, and engenders implications to the design of search engines, as well as the development of health literacy programs.
Chapter
This paper reviews the media representations of responsible coffee tourism practices during the pandemic of COVID-19 in Indonesia. The key aim is to identify the leading actor and the themes of responsible coffee tourism practices by critically analysing the stakeholders’ roles in coping with the disruption. The archival information from internet media in 2020 was collected via the Google search engine. The data were classified in three different time frames: the initial (January–April), the second midpoint (May–August), and the third midpoint (September–December). Subsequently, Leximancer was employed to assist the analysis of the collected 128 articles. The results indicated that the government institutions were the leading actors in encouraging responsible coffee tourism practices during the pandemic. Different themes of responsible coffee tourism practices emerged from the three-time periods investigated: operating business as usual, raising awareness of potential risks, and edification. The contribution of media representation to the business’ learning curve is discussed. The pandemic is not over yet. Nevertheless, the first-year discourses analysis could provide some guidelines for stakeholders’ future directions of managing crisis in tourism responsibly.
Article
Background: Information asymmetry causes barriers for the patient’s decision-making in the online health community. Patients can rely on the physician’s self-disclosed information to alleviate it. However, the impact of physician’s self-disclosed information on the patient’s decision has rarely been discussed. Objectives: To investigate the impact of the physician’s self-disclosed information on the patient’s decision in the online health community and to examine the moderating effect of the physician’s online reputation. Methods: Drawing on the limited-capacity model of attention, we develop a theoretical model to estimate the impact of physician’s self-disclosure information on patient’s decision and the contingent roles of physician’s online reputation in online healthcare community by econometric methods. We designed a web crawler based on R language program to collect more than 20000 physicians’ data from their homepage in Haodf—a leading online healthcare community platform in China. The attributes of the physician’s information disclosure are measured by the following variables: emotion orientation, the quantity of information and the semantic topics diversity. Results: The empirical analysis derives the following findings: (1) The emotion orientation in physician’s self-disclosure information is positively associated with patient’s decision; (2) Both excessive quantity of information and semantic topics diversity can raise barriers for patient’s decision; (3) When the level of physician’s online reputation is high, the negative effect of the quantity of information and semantic topics diversity are all strengthened while the positive effect of the emotion orientation is not strengthened. Conclusions: This study has a profound importance for a deep understanding of the impact of physician’s self-disclosure information and contributes to the literature on information disclosure, the limited capacity model of attention, patient’s decision. Also, this study provides implications for practice.
Article
Artificial agents such as embodied virtual agents, chatbots, voice user interface agents, and robots simulate human roles for dispensing information to people. According to the computers-are-social-actors paradigm, people respond to these technological artifacts with the same social rules originated from human-to-human social routines despite recognizing the artificiality of the entities’ intents, motivations, or emotions. Among the various applications of social rules in human-agent interactions, this study focuses on the social cues signaling expertise or competence (i.e., expertise cues) that can evoke social, affective, behavioral, and cognitive responses toward the artificial agents through activation of social stereotypes or heuristics. Based on a systematic review of experimental studies featuring artificial agents with expertise cues published between 2005 and July 2021 (n=63), this study proposed a classification model categorizing expertise cues into Demographics, Appearance, Social prestige, Specialization, Communication style, and Information quality (DASSCI). The DASSCI model can guide designers to logically devise and infuse relevant expertise cues into the designs of artificial agents. As per the computers-are-social-actors paradigm, this study also outlined the social and communication theories underpinning the implementations and effects of artificial agents’ expertise cues. The implications and recommendations for future directions regarding artificial agents with expertise cues across diverse application domains are discussed in this paper.
Chapter
In modern societies, one main goal for educated citizens and educators is to pursue scientific literacy. However, given the high complexity of scientific information and the fact that no single person can rely solely on their own knowledge when making science-related decisions, achieving scientific literacy is not straightforward: This chapter focuses on how people cope with these hurdles using epistemic trust as a central cognitive prerequisite. Particularly, to be able to learn and make decisions about everyday life, laypersons (trustors) must depend on the knowledge of others who know better (experts/trustees). Firstly, we describe the concept of epistemic trust, whereby we argue that epistemic trust should be considered as a learning goal for science education. Secondly, we describe trustworthiness cues that could guide laypersons through a decision on whom to trust (source judgments, language style) and which claims to believe (evidence, consensus, replication). Thirdly, we discuss the role of discursive practices (explanation, argumentation) that could enhance laypersons’ understanding of science and insights into their own limits of knowledge. Lastly, based on how epistemic trust can be enhanced through understanding trustworthiness cues and being open to active engagement in discussions about science, we offer implications for fostering epistemic trust in (higher) education.
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In diesem Kapitel geht es um eine psychologische Perspektive auf Vertrauen in Wissenschaft. Deshalb liegt der Schwerpunkt auf der individuellen Auseinandersetzung von Bürger*innen mit wissenschaftlichen Geltungsbehauptungen. Gleichwohl bedarf auch eine solche psychologische Perspektive einer Vergegenwärtigung der gesellschaftlichen und der epistemischen Funktionen des Vertrauens in Wissenschaft. Diese werden im ersten Abschnitt skizziert. Zuvor wird einleitend die Kontroverse geschildert, die in Deutschland öffentlich um die Thesen eines Lungenfacharztes geführt wurde, der sich gegen die geltenden Grenzwerte für Stickoxyde ausgesprochen hatte, obwohl das dem wissenschaftlichen Konsens widersprach. An diesem Beispiel wird die epistemische Abhängigkeit von Bürger*innen von wissenschaftlicher Expertise beschrieben und daraus die Notwendigkeit von Vertrauensurteilen zum Umgang mit dieser Abhängigkeit abgeleitet. Das Eingangsbeispiel beschreibt auch die prototypische Situation von Bürger*innen, die sich mit konkurrierenden Geltungsbehauptungen auseinandersetzen müssen, die im Kontext von lebensweltlichen Fragen für sie bedeutsam sind. Dies ist der Kontext von Befassung mit Wissenschaft, der im Mittelpunkt dieses Kapitels steht. Im zweiten Abschnitt werden dazu ergänzend weitere Kontexte der Auseinandersetzung von Nicht-Experten (Laien) mit Wissenschaft skizziert, in denen Wissenschaftsvertrauen ebenfalls wichtig ist. Der dritte Abschnitt bietet eine Übersicht zum aktuellen Stand des Wissenschaftsvertrauens, basierend auf Daten aus repräsentativen Befragungen (Surveys). Weiterhin wird beschrieben, was Bürger*innen überhaupt zu den Stichworten 'Wissenschaft' und 'Forschung' einfällt, die in solchen Surveys verwendet werden und es wird gezeigt, dass man zwischen allgemeinem Wissenschaftsvertrauen und dem Wissenschaftsvertrauen im Zusammenhang mit spezifischen Themen und Problemlagen unterscheiden sollte. Vor dem Hintergrund dieser exemplarischen (das Eingangsbeispiel) und empirischen Befunde zum Wissenschaftsvertrauen liefert der vierte Abschnitt eine theoretische Präzision des Wissenschaftsvertrauens. Der Begriff wird eingeordnet in die psychologische Vertrauensforschung und dann auch spezifiziert als epistemisches Vertrauen, also als Vertrauen darin, dass bestimmte Geltungsbehauptungen wahr und relevant sind. Im fünften Abschnitt werden Dimensionen von Vertrauen unterschieden und es wird erläutert, dass Vertrauensurteile und Misstrauensurteile auf diese Dimensionen in unterschiedlicher Weise Bezug nehmen. Im sechsten Abschnitt wird die Frage behandelt, warum Bürger*innen besonders aufmerksam (vigilant) gegenüber Interessenkonflikten sind. Im siebten Abschnitt werden Verzerrungen bei der Vertrauenszuschreibung behandelt, die der Abwehr von Geltungsbehauptungen dienen, die als konfligierend mit dem Wertesystem des Urteilenden empfunden werden. Solche intentional motivierte Informationsverarbeitung wird in der psychologischen Forschung zum Wissenschaftsvertrauen als wichtiger Prozess betrachtet, der zu der Verleugnung wissenschaftlicher Erkenntnisse, zum Beispiel über den Klimawandel, beiträgt. Bürger*innen, die der Wissenschaft vertrauen, sollten zumindest für die strategisch motivierte Leugnung wissenschaftlicher Befunde nicht empfänglich sein. Zugleich gibt es aber viele Anlässe für eine kritische Haltung gegenüber wissenschaftlichen Geltungsbehauptungen. Das wirft die Frage auf, wie ein normatives Konzept von Wissenschaftsvertrauen aussehen könnte, das die epistemischen Leistungen der Wissenschaft anerkennt und nutzt, zugleich aber eine kritische Perspektive ermöglicht. Dazu wird im achten Abschnitt das Konzept des informierten Vertrauens eingeführt. Es wird dadurch erläutert, dass die Wissensbereiche umrissen werden, die das Informiertsein bei Vertrauensurteilen begründen.
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TikTok, a short-video app featuring video content between 15 and 60 seconds long, has in the last few years become immensely popular around the world. Because of its Chinese ownership and popularity among underage users, however, the platform has attracted criticism and been subject to close scrutiny. Despite these hurdles, TikTok has emerged as a hub for creativity and is being used by educators and governments to reach out to the younger demographic. This Special Section is among the first collections of articles in the growing field of studies on TikTok and its legacy apps. It provides a glimpse of the nascent framings, approaches, methodologies, and applications of TikTok studies in the field of social media scholarship.
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Since its launch in 2018, TikTok has become one of the fastest growing social media applications in the world, being particularly popular among young people. Memetic videos, which often feature lip-syncing, dance routines, and comedic skits, are a defining feature of the platform. This study used quantitative content analysis and qualitative thematic analysis to examine science memes, an increasingly popular genre of memes on TikTok, by analyzing 1,368 TikTok videos that feature science-related content. The results of the study uncover the most influential science-content creators, the most prevalent content in science memes, and three vernacular styles of science memes on TikTok. The results expand the existing science-communication scholarship focusing on the context of social media. Understanding the role of memetic science content on short-video platforms, as well as in the youth digital culture in general, also provides valuable insights into how science communicators can better engage with members of the young generation.
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Many urgent problems that societies currently face-from climate change to a global pandemic-require citizens to engage with scientific information as members of democratic societies as well as to solve problems in their personal lives. Most often, to solve their epistemic aims (aims directed at achieving knowledge and understanding) regarding such socio-scientific issues, individuals search for information online, where there exists a multitude of possibly relevant and highly interconnected sources of different perspectives, sometimes providing conflicting information. The paper provides a review of the literature aimed at identifying (a) constraints and affordances that scientific knowledge and the online information environment entail and (b) individuals' cognitive and motivational processes that have been found to hinder, or conversely, support practices of engagement (such as critical information evaluation or two-sided dialogue). Doing this, a conceptual framework for understanding and fostering what we call online engagement with scientific information is introduced, which is conceived as consisting of individual engagement (engaging on one's own in the search, selection, evaluation, and integration of information) and dialogic engagement (engaging in discourse with others to interpret, articulate and critically examine scientific information). In turn, this paper identifies individual and contextual conditions for individuals' goal-directed and effortful online engagement with scientific information.
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Chapter
How do we talk about movements and spatial relations in the context of sailing? On the one hand, there are many parallels to everyday life: sailors move towards a goal, they try to avoid collision, they orient themselves in relation to landmarks. On the other hand, a number of factors are fundamentally different. This chapter explores various ways in which spatial concepts differ from everyday experience, based on language data collected in an explorative online questionnaire given to sailors and non-sailors. Participants were invited to describe various spatial aspects shown in a short video clip, and were then asked some more general questions about their spatial experience during and outside sailing. Results show that, naturally, sailors used their expertise and knowledge of technical terminology to a wide extent. However, they also attended to different aspects of the situations shown in the video clip than non-sailors: they referred to the wind and the sails and sometimes to starboard and port, but rarely used everyday directional concepts such as forward, left and right; these were used frequently by non-sailors, who also referred to various types of landmarks more frequently. When asked to describe where the coast was in a specific snapshot of the sailing situation, sailors answered ‘ahead’ or provided a direction in relation to the boat, whereas non-sailors answered ‘ahead’ or provided a direction in relation to the person in the boat. Furthermore, sailors reported being generally aware of wind and compass direction more frequently than non-sailors, and there was a greater connection between these two than for non-sailors. Wind was mentioned as a decisive factor for orienting in space during sailing but not elsewhere. Altogether, the data suggest that sailing changes the way we think and communicate about spatial situations and concepts rather fundamentally, partially affecting the sailor’s everyday life.
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Given their lack of background knowledge, laypeople require expert help when dealing with scientific information. To decide whose help is dependable, laypeople must judge an expert's epistemic trustworthiness in terms of competence, adherence to scientific standards, and good intentions. Online, this may be difficult due to the often limited and sometimes unreliable source information available. To measure laypeople's evaluations of experts (encountered online), we constructed an inventory to assess epistemic trustworthiness on the dimensions expertise, integrity, and benevolence. Exploratory (n = 237) and confirmatory factor analyses (n = 345) showed that the Muenster Epistemic Trustworthiness Inventory (METI) is composed of these three factors. A subsequent experimental study (n = 137) showed that all three dimensions of the METI are sensitive to variation in source characteristics. We propose using this inventory to measure assignments of epistemic trustworthiness, that is, all judgments laypeople make when deciding whether to place epistemic trust in-and defer to-an expert in order to solve a scientific informational problem that is beyond their understanding.
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This article analyzes the linguistic cues used by naïve perceivers to assess the expertise of online medical advice. We develop a theoretical framework of linguistic correlates to perceived expertise and test it on a corpus of 120 online medical advice messages, written by either medical doctors or laypersons. Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC) analyses show that messages were perceived as more expert if they contained more words (an indicator of uncertainty reduction), fewer I-pronouns and anxiety-related words (indicators of psychological distancing), and more long words and negations (indicators of cognitive complexity). These linguistic cues explained over a third of the variance in expertise ratings. Although unaware of the author of each message, perceivers were able to discern between messages written by doctors versus laypersons. However, only long words were helpful in making this distinction. Results advance the literature on linguistic correlates of psychological processes.
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The interdisciplinary intersections between communication science and health-related fields are pervasive, with numerous differences in regard to epistemology, career planning, funding perspectives, educational goals, and cultural orientations. This article identifies and elaborates on these challenges with illustrative examples. Furthermore, concrete suggestions for future scholarship are recommended to facilitate compatible, coherent, and interdisciplinary health communication inquiry. The authors hope that this article helps current and future generations of health communication scholars to make more informed decisions when facing some of the challenges discussed in this article so that they will be able to seize the interdisciplinary and international potential of this unique and important field of study.
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This research examined the unique effects of different markers of linguistic powerlessness (hedges, hesitations, and tag questions) on persuasion. Participants read (Experiment 1) or listened to (Experiment 2) a communication advocating comprehensive exams. Under high message relevance, messages containing powerless markers resulted in less favorable attitudes and more negative perceptions of the message and source than did the control message. This effect occurred in both experiments and was a result of these markers lessening the impact of strong arguments; in Experiment 2, strong arguments were no more persuasive than weak arguments when the message contained any of these markers. Under low message relevance, tag questions improved the persuasiveness of message arguments relative to the control condition. These results demonstrate that the effects of linguistic markers of powerlessness are complex and depend on marker type and processing depth.
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Health literacy concerns the knowledge and competences of persons to meet the complex demands of health in modern society. Although its importance is increasingly recognised, there is no consensus about the definition of health literacy or about its conceptual dimensions, which limits the possibilities for measurement and comparison. The aim of the study is to review definitions and models on health literacy to develop an integrated definition and conceptual model capturing the most comprehensive evidence-based dimensions of health literacy. A systematic literature review was performed to identify definitions and conceptual frameworks of health literacy. A content analysis of the definitions and conceptual frameworks was carried out to identify the central dimensions of health literacy and develop an integrated model. The review resulted in 17 definitions of health literacy and 12 conceptual models. Based on the content analysis, an integrative conceptual model was developed containing 12 dimensions referring to the knowledge, motivation and competencies of accessing, understanding, appraising and applying health-related information within the healthcare, disease prevention and health promotion setting, respectively. Based upon this review, a model is proposed integrating medical and public health views of health literacy. The model can serve as a basis for developing health literacy enhancing interventions and provide a conceptual basis for the development and validation of measurement tools, capturing the different dimensions of health literacy within the healthcare, disease prevention and health promotion settings.
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Do different design and information content factors influence trust and mistrust of online health sites? Fifteen women faced with a risky health decision were observed while searching the Internet for information and advice over four consecutive weeks. In some sessions their searches were unstructured, whilst in other sessions they were directed to review specific sites, chosen for their trust design elements. Content analysis of concurrent verbalisations and group discussion protocols provided support for a staged model wherein design appeal predicted rejection (mistrust) and credibility of information and personalisation of content predicted selection (trust) of advice sites.
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We argue that the speaker designs each utterance for specific listeners, and they, in turn, make essential use of this fact in understanding that utterance. We call this property of utterances audience design. Often listeners can come to a unique interpretation for an utterance only if they assume that the speaker designed it just so that they could come to that interpretation uniquely. We illustrate reasoning from audience design in the understanding of definite reference, anaphora, and word meaning, and we offer evidence that listeners actually reason this way. We conclude that audience design must play a central role in any adequate theory of understanding.
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This introduction to the special issue Understanding the Public Understanding of Science: Psychological Approaches discusses some of the challenges people face in understanding science. We focus on people's inevitably bounded understanding of science topics; research must address how people make decisions in science domains such as health and medicine without having the deep and extensive understanding that is characteristic of domain experts. The articles reflect two broad streams of research on the public understanding of science—the learning orientation that seeks to improve understanding through better instruction and the communications orientation that focuses on attitudes about science and trust in scientists. Challenges to understanding science include determining the relevance of information, the tentativeness of scientific truth, distinguishing between scientific and nonscientific issues, and determining what is true and what is false. Studying the public understanding of science can potentially contribute to psychological theories of thinking and reasoning in modern societies.
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The present research investigated whether laypeople are inclined to rely on their own evaluations of the acceptability of scientific claims despite their knowledge limitations. Specifically, we tested whether laypeople are more prone to discount their actual dependence on expert knowledge when they are presented with simplified science texts. In two experiments, participants read scientific arguments that varied in comprehensibility and type of argument support and therefore in apparent easiness. We assessed participants’ inclination to rely on their own evaluation rather than deferring to expert advice when judging argument persuasiveness. The results showed that laypeople were more strongly persuaded by apparently easy arguments than by difficult ones. Furthermore, they were more confident in their own evaluation of the information and less inclined to turn to an expert for decision-making support after reading easy compared to difficult arguments.
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This paper raises the question of the significance of information practices for individuals' management of personal health. In particular, it focuses on the notion of an 'informed patient'. The question of expertise is examined first through an analysis of the nature of information sought, the trust placed in information sources and the challenge to professional authority, and then in the light of the everyday dimension of information seeking that pervades all living interactions. Taking the case of online health information seekers, the paper is based on interviews conducted with Internet users, using the electronic medium for health information. Study findings reveal the everyday dimension of the information sought and the importance of 'experiential knowledge' over medical expertise. Rather than dismissing experts' authority, findings show how the mediated environment of the Internet favours a process of displacing and regaining trust in professionals. The paper argues that the use of the Internet by a lay public for health information reflects individuals' socio-cultural information contexts, drawing the contours of a responsible project of health by means of information. 'Informed patients' are negotiating agents whose health responsibility is both a matter of increasing knowledge about everyday experience as part of a reflexive project and a matter of locating this project within a broader informational environment.
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Studies suggest that young children are quite limited in their knowledge about cognitive phenomena—or in their metacognition—and do relatively little monitoring of their own memory, comprehension, and other cognitive enterprises. Metacognitive knowledge is one's stored knowledge or beliefs about oneself and others as cognitive agents, about tasks, about actions or strategies, and about how all these interact to affect the outcomes of any sort of intellectual enterprise. Metacognitive experiences are conscious cognitive or affective experiences that occur during the enterprise and concern any aspect of it—often, how well it is going. Research is needed to describe and explain spontaneous developmental acquisitions in this area and find effective ways of teaching metacognitive knowledge and cognitive monitoring skills. (9 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Chapter
After Perry’s (1969) pioneering work, research on the psychology of epistemic beliefs, that is, personal beliefs about knowledge and knowing (Hofer & Pintrich, 2002), has flourished since the beginning of the 1990s. At least three major lines of investigation can be identified in the literature, the first of which deals with the development of epistemic thinking. According to developmental psychologists, it can be conceived as a cognitive structure comprising coherent and integrated representations, which characterize a level or stage of cognitive development. This cognitive structure has been described in relation to the ways of knowing (Belenky et al., 1986), epistemological reflection (Baxter Magolda, 1992), reflective judgment (King & Kitchener, 1994), relativistic thinking (Chandler et al., 1990), and argumentative reasoning (Kuhn, 1991).
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In this theoretical paper, I present a short critical review of research on calibration. Based on this conceptual analysis I argue for two extensions of this construct: In addition to traditional applications, the methodology should be transferred to also measure calibration between students’ metacognitive control processes (traditionally, only students’ metacognitive judgments were considered) and important external criteria (traditionally, judgments were only compared to students’ own performance). As an illustrative example, one application context will be highlighted where these proposed extensions would alleviate potential problems with the traditional conceptualization: While students’ idiosyncratic task definitions constitute unwanted error variance in the traditional account it would be possible to investigate them as a primary research question within this extended notion. More specifically, it would be possible to investigate how well students’ learning processes match objective task demands. I will put forward theoretical and empirical arguments in favor of these suggestions.
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Subjects performed a two-stage referential communication task. First, they created referring expressions for abstract figures either for another student (Social condition) or for themselves (Nonsocial condition). Second, the same subjects tried to identify the intended referents of their own expressions and those of other subjects who encoded in the Social and Nonsocial conditions. Expressions intended for another student were longer, employed less diverse vocabularies, and were less likely to describe the stimuli figuratively than expressions intended for oneself. The intended addressee of a message also affected its comprehensibility to others: while all subjects identified the largest proportion of their own messages, they did significantly better with others' messages when they were intended for another student rather than for the encoder him- or herself. Both sets of findings are discussed within a common ground framework of communication.
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Concerns about the potentially dubious nature of online information and users' ability to evaluate it appropriately prompted this research on college students' use of Web-based information, their perceptions of information credibility, and their online verification behaviors. Two studies were conducted to address these issues. Results of the first study show that college students rely very heavily on the Web for both general and academic information, and that they expect this usage to increase over time. Results of the second study indicate that students find information to be more credible than do those from a more general adult population, across several media and considering many different types of information. Nonetheless, students verify the information they find online significantly less. Implications are discussed in light of current efforts of educators to improve Internet literacy.
Conference Paper
The credibility of web sites is becoming an increasingly important area to understand. To expand knowledge in this domain, we conducted an online study that investigated how different elements of Web sites affect people's perception of credibility. Over 1400 people participated in this study, both from the U.S. and Europe, evaluating 51 different Web site elements. The data showed which elements boost and which elements hurt perceptions of Web credibility. Through analysis we found these elements fell into one of seven factors. In order of impact, the five types of elements that increased credibility perceptions were “real-world feel”, “ease of use”, “expertise”, “trustworthiness”, and “tailoring”. The two types of elements that hurt credibility were “commercial implications&rdquo ;and “amateurism”. This large-scale study lays the groundwork for further research into the elements that affect Web credibility. The results also suggest implications for designing credible Web sites.
Conference Paper
The growth of scientific and technological knowledge in modern societies has lead to an increase of specialization of knowledge and expertise. Most socio-scientific issues are far too complex to be understood deeply by laypersons. From various disciplines we have to choose pertinent ones if we want to rely on expert advice. Epistemological beliefs might be helpful to cope with this challenge. Furthermore it is necessary to have realistic awareness of one's own fragmentary understanding and to avoid the "illusion of explanatory depth" (Rosenblit & Keil, 2002). In order to research on adults' capability to choose between disciplines who might be relevant for a science topic, N = 520 secondary school students were asked to choose, which of 22 scientific disciplines (e.g. math, geology, biology) should contribute to a book about tide and float. They were also asked to assess their own knowledge about the theme. Influence of epistemological beliefs has been tested by an epistemological sensitization in an experimental design. The epistemological sensitization significantly influences students' self-assessment of knowledge and discipline rating. Students with sophisticated epistemological beliefs were more critical about their own knowledge about tide and flow, chose significantly pertinent and -by tendency-potential pertinent disciplines more and declined non-pertinent disciplines more.
Article
If folk science means individuals having well worked out mechanistic theories of the workings of the world, then it is not feasible. Lay people's explanatory understandings are remarkably coarse, full of gaps and often full of inconsistencies. Even worse, most people underestimate their own understandings. Yet, recent views suggest that formal scientists may not be so different. In spite of these limitations, science somehow works and its success offers hope for the feasibility of folk science as well. The success of science arises from the ways in which scientists learn to leverage understandings in other minds and to outsource explanatory work through sophisticated methods of deference and simplification of complex systems. Three studies ask whether analogous processes might be present not only in lay people, but also in young children and thereby form a foundation for supplementing explanatory understandings almost from the start of our first attempts to make sense of the world.
Article
The division of cognitive labor is fundamental to all cultures. Adults have a strong sense of how knowledge is clustered in the world around them and use that sense to access additional information, defer to relevant experts, and ground their own incomplete understandings. One prominent way of clustering knowledge is by disciplines similar to those that comprise the natural and social sciences. Seven studies explored an emerging sense of these discipline-based ways of clustering of knowledge. Even 5-year-olds could cluster knowledge in a manner roughly corresponding to the departments of natural and social sciences in a university, doing so without any explicit awareness of those academic disciplines. But this awareness is fragile early on and competes with other ways of clustering knowledge. Over the next few years, children come to see discipline-based clusters as having a privileged status, one that may be linked to increasingly sophisticated assumptions about essences for natural kinds. Possible mechanisms for this developmental shift are examined.
Article
The paper has three main aims. First, to trace--through the pages of Sociology of Health and Illness--the changing ways in which lay understandings of health and illness have been represented during the 1979-2002 period. Second, to say something about the limits of lay knowledge (and particularly lay expertise) in matters of health and medicine. Third, to call for a re-assessment of what lay people can offer to a democratised and customer-sensitive system of health care and to attempt to draw a boundary around the domain of expertise. In following through on those aims, the author calls upon data derived from three current projects. These latter concern the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease in people with Down's syndrome; the development of an outcome measure for people who have suffered a traumatic brain injury; and a study of why older people might reject annual influenza vaccinations.
Article
This study examines the relationship of Internet health information use with patient behavior and self-efficacy among 498 newly diagnosed cancer patients. Subjects were classified by types of Internet use: direct use (used Internet health information themselves), indirect use (used information accessed by friends or family), and non-use (never accessing Internet information). Subjects were recruited from callers of the National Cancer Institute's (NCI's) Cancer Information Service, Atlantic Region. They were classified by type of Internet use at enrollment and interviewed by telephone after 8 weeks. There were significant relationships among Internet use and key study variables: subject characteristics, patient task behavior, and self-efficacy. Subjects' Internet use changed significantly from enrollment to 8 week follow-up; 19% of nonusers and indirect users moved to a higher level of Internet use. Significant relationships also were found among Internet use and perceived patient-provider relationship, question asking, and treatment compliance. Finally, Internet use was also significantly associated with self-efficacy variables (confidence in actively participating in treatment decisions, asking physicians questions, and sharing feelings of concern). The results of this study show that patients who are newly diagnosed with cancer perceive the Internet as a powerful tool, both for acquiring information and for enhancing confidence to make informed decisions.
Article
As more and more doctor-patient communication is happening online, it is important to know how doctors adapt to their patients' knowledge level and ensure that they make themselves understood in this medium. This article examined question-answer sets from health archives to see whether medical experts adapted their answers to the way laypersons verbalized their concerns. The authors analyzed word use and further stylistic variables in question-answer pairs to test 2 hypotheses: (a) the lexical entrainment hypothesis predicting that experts would entrain to patients' word use; and (b) the linguistic copresence hypothesis predicting that the more medical terminology used by the patient, the more demanding experts' answers would be. Results provided evidence that the patients' choice of words impacts the experts' answers. Practical implications are discussed for improving mutual understanding in online health advice.
NEO-PI-R -NEO Persönlichkeitsinventar nach Costa und McCrae -Revidierte Fassung (PSYNDEX Tests Review) [Costa and McCrae's revised NEO personality inventory
  • F Ostendorf
  • A Angleitner
Ostendorf, F., & Angleitner, A. (2004). NEO-PI-R -NEO Persönlichkeitsinventar nach Costa und McCrae -Revidierte Fassung (PSYNDEX Tests Review) [Costa and McCrae's revised NEO personality inventory].
Knowing when, where, and how to remember: A problem of metacognition
  • A L Brown
Brown, A. L. (1978). Knowing when, where, and how to remember: A problem of metacognition. In R. Glaser (Ed.), Advances in instructional psychology (Vol. 1, pp. 77-165). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Epistemic metacognition in the context of information searching on the web
  • L Mason
  • A Boldrin
Mason, L., & Boldrin, A. (2008). Epistemic metacognition in the context of information searching on the web. In M. S. Khine (Ed.), Knowing, knowledge and beliefs: Epistemological studies across diverse cultures (pp. 377-404). New York, NY: Springer.
Fachbegriffe [Technical terms
  • R Bromme
Bromme, R. (1996). Fachbegriffe [Technical terms].
Quantitative Variables Experimental condition Medical credentials Nonmedical credentials Dependent variable Technical language Everyday language Technical language Everyday language Credibility (of health statements) Proportion of credible statements 021) Trust in the correctness of information 3
  • B Appendix
  • Descriptive
Appendix B Descriptive Results of Quantitative Variables Experimental condition Medical credentials Nonmedical credentials Dependent variable Technical language Everyday language Technical language Everyday language Credibility (of health statements) Proportion of credible statements 0.70 (0.25) 0.71 (0.23) 0.52 (0.27) 0.64 (0.21) Trust in the correctness of information 3.00 (0.63) 3.28 (0.71) 2.45 (0.65) 2.82 (0.69)