Consumers frequently encounter competing health information comprised of accurate and erroneous messages about different diseases. This longitudinal study examined the lagged associations between young adults' exposure to health (mis)information about 4 cancer-related risk factors (indoor tanning, e-cigarette use, reusing plastic bottles, and artificial sweeteners), beliefs, intentions, and behaviors as informed by theories of persuasion and behavior change. We found significant lagged associations between health (mis)information exposure and beliefs for three topics; beliefs predicted subsequent intentions for 2 topics; and intentions predicted subsequent behaviors for 4 topics. The hypothesized pathway of effects was supported for 2 topics. These findings provide insights for developing theory in the area of (mis)information effects and for designing interventions that mitigate the adverse consequences of misinformation.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/andysltan/26/