Correcting Misperceptions About Genetically Modified Food on Social Media: Examining the Impact of Experts, Social Media Heuristics, and the Gateway Belief Model

Leticia Bode, Emily K. Vraga, Melissa Tully

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We experimentally test whether expert organizations on social media can correct misperceptions of the scientific consensus on the safety of genetically modified (GM) food for human consumption, as well as what role social media cues, in the form of “likes,” play in that process. We find expert organizations highlighting scientific consensus on GM food safety reduces consensus misperceptions among the public, leading to lower GM misperceptions and boosting related consumption behaviors in line with the gateway belief model. Expert organizations’ credibility may increase as a result of correction, but popularity cues do not seem to affect misperceptions or credibility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)225-251
Number of pages27
JournalScience Communication
Volume43
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This project was funded through a 2017 Fall Grant-in-Aid from Georgetown University.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2020.

Keywords

  • credibility
  • gateway belief model
  • genetically modified food
  • heuristics
  • misinformation
  • social media

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