Disseminating research findings about substance use: effects of inoculation messages, message sources, and visual representations
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The dissemination of scientific knowledge to the public is important, because the public's increased awareness and knowledge of science and scientific findings can contribute to creating healthy discourses about relevant topics. The dissertation was designed to understand how inoculation messages, message sources, and visual representations of risk information influence newsreaders' attentional, cognitive, and behavioral responses on health news articles. The findings suggested that inoculation messages may not be effective in promoting changes in college students' attitudes regarding substance use. However, inoculation messages encouraged readers to think more deeply and also agree with the message. The results also showed that readers perceived health information more credible and reported less favorable toward substance use behavior when a medical scientist delivered health news. In addition, illustrative risk visualizations, such as bar graphs, were found to be effective in drawing the reader's attention especially with an expert source. Theoretical and practical implications of this study are discussed.