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Title: Determinants of health-related misinformation sharing on social media - a Scoping Review
Authors: Jones, Christopher M.
Diethei, Daniel
Jahnel, Tina
Shrestha, Rehana
Janetzki, Sarah
Schöning, Johannes
Schüz, Benjamin
Issue Date: 17-May-2021
Publisher: PsychArchives
Abstract: Public Health responses often rely on changing individual health-related behaviours (Glanz & Bishop, 2010). Many potential measures to achieve this aim critically depend on the information available to the target population and whether they provide trustworthy and reliable guidance (De Vries, 2017). As exemplified during the Covid-19 pandemic, false information may pose a key threat here, as they have been shown to reduce adherence to behavioural guidelines, promote engagement in false prevention measures and encourage hate and exclusion. Tackling their spread has thus been established as a research priority in the WHO Response Strategy (WHO, 2020). As the rapid distribution of dis- and misinformation (dis-information: information intended to deceive; mis-information: wrong information, but not intended to deceive) is largely occurring through social media, government efforts have focused on reducing their spread and availability on different platforms (Pennycook & Rand, 2021). These efforts have mostly focused on misinformation, which is making up the far bigger share, and strongly relied on partnering with tech companies for fact checking, offering more trustworthy information or removing false information (Pennycook & Rand, 2021). However, this work has exclusively focused on deliberate and reflective mental processes not accounting for other potential determinants (e.g., fast, reactive and impulsive processes that drive most of individuals’ decision making as well as contextual effects) of why users misjudge their trustworthiness and share false information. As a result, interventions have mostly failed to considerably reduce misinformation sharing (Pennycook & Rand, 2021). It is thus crucial to better understand misinformation sharing behaviour and the multitude of its determinants. Viewing sharing of misinformation through a behavioural lense opens different avenues to comprehensively and integratively study its determinants. One especially promising avenue is the use of behavioural frameworks such as the Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF; Cane et al., 2012). It is a continuously updated integrative framework summarizing evidence-based determinants of behavior (with 14 key domains) and behavior change (i.e. facilitators and barriers), allowing to systematically understand mechanisms of change and inform intervention design as well as their evaluation.
Citation: Jones, C. M., Diethei, D., Jahnel, T., Shrestha, R., Janetzki, S., Schöning, J., & Schüz, B. (2021). Determinants of health-related misinformation sharing on social media - a Scoping Review. PsychArchives.
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