Correcting misperceptions: The causal role of motivation in corrective science communication about vaccine and food safety
Number of pages
SourceScience Communication, 42, 1, (2020), pp. 31-60
Article / Letter to editor
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SubjectBehaviour Change and Well-being; Communication and Media
Some people stick to beliefs that do not align with scientific consensus when faced with science communication that contradicts those misperceptions. Two preregistered experiments (total N = 1,256) investigated the causal role of motivated reasoning in the effectiveness of correcting misperceptions. In both experiments, accuracy-driven reasoning led to a larger corrective effect of a science communication message than reasoning driven by directional motivation. Individuals’ default reasoning made them just as receptive to the correction as accuracy-driven reasoning. This finding supports a more optimistic view of human receptivity to science communication than often found in the literature.
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