Online comments, whether random or posted by a credible source, affect our perceptions and choices regarding health and healthcare decisions. The recent article, "Reexaming Health Messages in the Digital Age: A Fresh Look at Source Credibility Effects," from the Journal of Advertising written by Dr. Ionnis Kareklas, Dr. Darrell Muehling, and TJ Webber from Washington State University reveals that social media posts, product reviews, and word-of-mouth communication influences consumer's attitudes and behaviors toward vaccinations and other health-related decisions.
"In today's world, consumers rely increasingly more so on the Internet as a source of information for a wide variety of topics, including health-related decisions...Our work suggests that if there are no cues regarding the credibility of online communicators, such as their job title, consumers tend to trust information provided by these communicators just as much, or in some cases, more so than information from a company or government agency..."
Listen to the full podcast interview here.
Article: Reexamining Health Messages in the Digital Age: A Fresh Look at Source Credibility Effects, Ioannis Kareklas, Darrel D. Muehling & T.J. Weber, Journal of Advertising, DOI:10.1080/00913367.2015.1018461, published online 5 May 2015.