ORCID Identifier(s)

0009-0001-9578-0526

Graduation Semester and Year

2023

Language

English

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Psychology

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Angela Liegey-Dougall

Abstract

In today’s society, the prevalence of the “share first, question later” mentality has become a norm. However, this approach to information can have severe consequences when it comes to information seeking behaviors, and health and academic outcomes. Previous research has already illustrated that people are not very good at evaluating information, they prefer to surround themselves with confirming viewpoints, and accepting health misinformation can adversely affect one’s health. Building upon this knowledge, the current study aimed to investigate whether people have preferences in the information they use and their potential implications for health and academic outcomes. Specifically, it was examined how these preferences relate to and potentially shape the impact of prior beliefs and behaviors regarding information searching and evaluation. Although the study did not establish a direct link between these preferences and health and academic outcomes, it did reveal that individuals do exhibit preferences for certain information traits, influencing their engagement with and acceptance of information. Furthermore, the findings emphasized the contextual nature of information preferences, suggesting that strategies for information dissemination and evaluation need to be tailored to specific topics or domains to effectively engage people. The findings also further substantiated the importance of developing information literacy skills to improve health outcomes and academic success and addressing biases in information seeking behaviors.

Keywords

Misinformation, Health outcomes, Academic outcomes, Information subgroups, Information users, Information choices

Disciplines

Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences

Comments

Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington

Included in

Psychology Commons

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