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UPenn TCORS: Belief Echoes: Interventions to Correct Misleading Information about Tobacco Products

Principal Investigator: Joseph Cappella

Funding Mechanism: National Institutes of Health- TCORS Grant

ID number: 1P50CA179546-01

Award Date: 9/18/2013

Institution: University of Pennsylvania


Misinformation about tobacco products communicated in today’s complex public communication environment can mislead the public into underestimating the dangers or overestimating the benefits of various tobacco products. Even if information is corrected, traces of the misinformation (called “belief echoes”) can persist and influence subsequent judgments and decisions. This five-year project will examine the "staying power" of beliefs about tobacco products and use based on misinformation in social media and will evaluate corrective interventions by surveying a sample of 2700 adolescents aged 13-17 and 6000 young adults aged 18-30. Specific aims are: (1) to establish the presence and durability of belief echoes and evaluate their effects on attitudes, beliefs, and intentions, even after immediate corrective information is provided; (2) to examine whether repetition of simple corrective information intensifies, rather than attenuates, belief echoes; (3) to test the effectiveness of three classes of enhanced correctives in reducing the impact of misleading information; and (4) to test the likelihood of re-transmission of enhanced versus simple correctives from Tobacco FactCheck.org. This project may facilitate the FDA's efforts to communicate effectively about tobacco products by identifying corrective communication interventions that will have the greatest impact on tobacco use beliefs and behaviors.


UPENN: Tobacco Product Messaging in a Complex Communication Environment (TCORS) Related Resoures