Correcting misperceptions: The causal role of motivation in corrective science communication about vaccine and food safety

A van Stekelenburg, GJ Schaap, HP Veling, Moniek Buijzen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-60
Number of pages30
JournalScience Communication
Volume42
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes

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