Review: What drives unverified information sharing and cyberchondria during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Home/Review: What drives unverified information sharing and cyberchondria during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Review: What drives unverified information sharing and cyberchondria during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Review: What drives unverified information sharing and cyberchondria during the COVID-19 pandemic?

In this study, researchers developed and tested a model to explain why people share unverified COVID-19 information through social media.

To determine what motivates individuals to share unverified information about COVID-19 through social media, researchers developed a model drawing on theories of health perception and cognitive overload. They determined that a person’s trust in online information and perceived information overload are strong predictors of unverified information sharing. In addition, men are more likely than women to share information without verifying its reliability. Women, however, are more likely to suffer from cyberchondria (i.e., online health searches with worsening anxiety or distress). To decrease the spread of COVID-19 misinformation, the authors suggest enhancing healthy skepticism of COVID-19 information while also guarding against information overload.

|2020-06-11T08:22:47-04:00June 11th, 2020|COVID-19 Literature|0 Comments

About the Author: Maria Brann

Maria Brann
Dr. Maria Brann, PhD, MPH, is a professor in the Department of Communication Studies in the School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI and affiliate faculty with the Injury Control Research Center at West Virginia University. She explores the integration of health, interpersonal, and gender communication. Her translational focus and mixed methods approach are woven throughout her health vulnerabilities research, which advocates for more effective communication to improve people’s health and safety. Her primary research interests focus on the study of women’s and ethical issues in health communication contexts and promotion of healthy lifestyle behaviors to improve personal and public health and safety. She researches communication at both the micro and macro levels and studies how communication influences relationships among individuals and with the social world.

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