Openness to change among COVID misinformation endorsers


COVID misinformation endorsers (N = 1991) in a large, nationally representative survey (fielded in Fall 2021) were asked how likely they would adopt self-protective behaviors if a source they trusted debunked their prior misperceptions. Multiple linear regression estimated the relationships between openness to change and socio-demographics, health-related factors, and health information source usage patterns. Less than half of the misinformation endorsers in the sample (41.3%) indicated any openness to change. Openness to change was positively associated with minority status and negatively associated with leaning Republican in political affiliation, higher income, being currently unvaccinated or unsure about vaccination status, better health, and a greater number of misinformation items endorsed. Past-month use of government, community, and personal sources for health information positively predicted openness. The use of online media was negatively associated with openness. Openness to change is not guaranteed after misinformation correction. Targeted interventions based on openness to change are needed to enhance the public health impact of misinformation correction efforts.

Associated JCOIN Study Title: AmeriSpeak Brief Opioid Stigma Survey (026)

Publication Year: 2023

Lead Author: Xiaoquan Zhao

Journal: Social Science & Medicine

Publication Type(s): Survey Finding, COVID