Analyzing medical personnel’s perceptions of online health rumors

Jeremy Soon Jia Qi, Snehasish Banerjee, Alton Y.K. Chua

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


The purpose of this paper is to analyze medical personnel’s perceptions of online health rumors as a function of two factors: rumor type, and the presence of counter-rumors. The two types of rumors include dread rumors that warn of dangerous consequences, and wish rumors that inform about potential benefits. Counter-rumors are messages that refute rumors. A total of 60 participants (20 doctors + 20 nurses + 20 medical students) were recruited to take part in an experiment. They were exposed to cancer-related dread and wish rumors—some accompanied with counter-rumors while others without counter-rumors. The participants’ perceptions that were examined include intention to trust, and intention to share. These were measured using a questionnaire. A 2 (rumor type: dread, wish) x 2 (presence of counter-rumors: present, absent) factorial analysis of variance was conducted for data analysis. The results indicate that dread rumors were trusted and shared more compared with wish rumors. Besides, counter-rumors were effective in reducing intention to trust and share rumors, especially for dread rumors. Nonetheless, the medically trained participants were generally reluctant to view online health rumors favorably.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventInternational MultiConference of Engineers and Computer Scientists: International Conference on Internet Computing and Web Services - , Hong Kong
Duration: 15 Mar 201717 Mar 2017


ConferenceInternational MultiConference of Engineers and Computer Scientists
Country/TerritoryHong Kong
Internet address

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