Correcting science misinformation in an authoritarian country : An experiment from China

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Article number101749
Journal / PublicationTelematics and Informatics
Online published28 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


People rely on heuristic cues to evaluate messages. An increasing number of studies found corrective messages useful in correcting misinformation, and the correction effect varies on heuristic cues. Existing studies, however, mostly focus on correction effects in the Western context. This study aims to compare the effects of corrective messages with different heuristic cues in an authoritarian society. We focused on the cues that suggest government authoritativeness. Using an online experiment, we compared the impacts of correction sources (official vs. professional vs. layperson) and tones (formal vs. conversational) on the believability of the correction. The results indicated corrections from a government source and delivered in a formal tone were more believable in China. In addition, we examined the moderating role of attitude congruence.

Research Area(s)

  • Authoritarian, China, Correction, Misinformation, Science