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Who is more vulnerable to health misperception?: The role of uncertainty, prior belief consistency, and health literacy in the context of dewormer use

  • Health Communication Research
  • 2023, 22(2), pp.1-48
  • DOI : 10.24172/hcr.2023.22.2.1
  • Publisher : Korea Health Communication Association
  • Research Area : Social Science > Journalism and Broadcasting > Communication
  • Received : May 16, 2023
  • Accepted : July 17, 2023
  • Published : July 31, 2023

Im, Heewon 1

1한림대학교 건강과뉴미디어 연구센터

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This study aimed to clarify the psychological mechanism by which individuals accept health misinformation from social media and how health misperceptions affect subsequent unhealthy behavior in the context of dewormer use. An online survey was conducted with 307 South Korean adults exposed to dewormer use information on social media. The positive association between the respondents’ uncertainty about their health and factual misbeliefs about dewormer use was moderated by their pre-existing attitude toward complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) vs. standard treatments, suggesting that individuals who are uncertain but more favorable toward CAM tend to accept factual misbeliefs more easily. Individuals’ uncertainty about their health and treatment for the health management was positively associated with conspiracy beliefs. Factual misbeliefs were the key mediator in the association between the interaction of uncertainty and pre-existing attitude toward CAM vs. standard treatments and dewormer-taking intention.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.