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College of Minnesota researchers are discovering that prior publicity to conflicting well being info reduces receptivity to messages about widely-recommended well being behaviors.

Right now’s public info surroundings is characterised by conflicting details about a variety of well being subjects, together with diet, most cancers screening, e-cigarettes, and most lately, COVID-19. Analysis has proven publicity to conflicting info can negatively have an effect on public understanding and belief in well being suggestions.

What shouldn’t be recognized is whether or not such publicity would possibly make individuals much less receptive to different well being messages, together with these about extensively beneficial well being behaviors for which there’s little battle, comparable to fruit and vegetable consumption and bodily exercise. The potential of such “carryover results” from publicity to conflicting info was lately examined by an interdisciplinary group of College of Minnesota researchers.

Revealed within the journal Annals of Behavioral Medication, the U of M examine concerned a three-wave, on-line survey experiment with a consultant pattern of almost 3,000 U.S. adults through the summer season of 2020. Individuals have been randomly assigned to view a sequence of well being information tales and social media posts about six completely different well being subjects together with mammography screening and carbohydrate consumption. These tales and posts, which have been proven to individuals twice over a month-long interval, differed solely in whether or not they featured battle over scientific proof or steerage. At the very least one week after their second viewing, individuals have been requested to guage adverts from a number of current well being campaigns about behaviors for which there’s broad scientific consensus: Fruit and vegetable consumption, bodily exercise, and colorectal most cancers screening.

Outcomes confirmed that prior publicity to conflicting well being info rendered individuals much less receptive to messages about these extensively beneficial well being behaviors.

Those that have been beforehand uncovered to battle reported larger resistance to the well being marketing campaign adverts, in addition to decrease perceptions of the well being behaviors featured in these adverts.

Statistical evaluation indicated that carryover results largely operated by way of individuals’s emotions of backlash towards well being suggestions and analysis on the whole, which was elicited by their prior publicity to battle.

“These outcomes are worrisome, notably given a COVID-19 info panorama that’s more and more fraught with seemingly conflicting science, as our group’s previous analysis has proven,” mentioned Rebekah Nagler, examine lead and an affiliate professor within the Hubbard Faculty of Journalism and Mass Communication, and a Masonic Most cancers Heart member. “In the end, individuals’s cumulative, routine publicity to conflicting details about COVID-19 and different well being points may threaten the success of media campaigns and different public well being messaging methods—methods that we as a rustic put money into closely 12 months after 12 months to stop most cancers and different persistent illnesses.”

Nagler and her colleagues are actually interested by methods to intervene and interrupt the carryover phenomenon and higher talk with the general public about evolving science.

Misinformation on Twitter adversely impacts adults’ well being choices

Extra info:
academic-oup-com.ezp3.lib.umn. … /abm/kaab069/6353127

Prior publicity to conflicting well being info reduces receptivity to beneficial well being conduct messages, examine says (2021, September 23)
retrieved 23 September 2021

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