How Misinformation and Its Rebuttals in Online Comments Affect People’s Intention to Receive COVID-19 Vaccines : The Role of Psychological Reactance and Misperceptions

Research output: Conference Papers (RGC: 31A, 31B, 32, 33)32_Refereed conference paper (no ISBN/ISSN)peer-review

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Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021

Conference

Title104th Annual Conference of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC 2021)
LocationVirtual
PlaceUnited States
CityNew Orleans
Period4 - 7 August 2021

Abstract

This study investigated the mechanisms by which exposure to negative and misleading online comments on COVID-19 vaccination promotional messages and ensuing corrective rebuttals of the comments could affect people’s vaccination attitudes and intentions. An online experiment was performed with 360 adults in the United States. The results show that rebuttals by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), rather than rebuttals from users, indirectly improve people’s attitude and willingness towards the vaccination by reducing their psychological reactance to the persuasive messages and beliefs in the misinformation reflected in the comments, especially among supporters of the vaccination. For the opponents of vaccination, the CDC’s rebuttals seemed to evoke a backfire effect on these people’s misperceptions. By combining the two lines of research on psychological reactance and misinformation, this study deepens the understanding of the theoretical arguments about these two communication phenomena and the relationship between them.

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Research Unit(s) information for this publication is provided by the author(s) concerned.

Citation Format(s)

How Misinformation and Its Rebuttals in Online Comments Affect People’s Intention to Receive COVID-19 Vaccines : The Role of Psychological Reactance and Misperceptions. / Sun, Yanqing; LU, Fangcao.

2021. Paper presented at 104th Annual Conference of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC 2021), New Orleans, Louisiana, United States.

Research output: Conference Papers (RGC: 31A, 31B, 32, 33)32_Refereed conference paper (no ISBN/ISSN)peer-review