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Department of Communication and Media Research Science Communication

New publication: Searching online for information about vaccination

This experimental study investigates the influence of relevant user-specific cognitive factors on users’ search behavior for online information about vaccination. Additionally, it examines how searching online for information influences users’ attitudes toward vaccination. Based on a survey and eye-tracking while browsing the internet as well as a content analysis of the eye-tracking data, it shows that users expose themselves to balanced and diverse online information about vaccination. However, there were no effects of attitude-consistent selective exposure to online information about vaccination. In addition, we found no effect on attitude change after having searched the Internet for vaccine-related information. Thus, users’ search behavior regarding vaccination seems to be relatively stable.

Kessler, S. H., & Zillich, A. F. (2018). Searching Online for Information About Vaccination: Assessing the Influence of User-Specific Cognitive Factors Using Eye-Tracking. Health Communication. doi:10.1080/10410236.2018.1465793. Link to study