Background. In the health care field, disinformation is a widespread practice, especially regarding the topic of vaccination coverage. In recent years, studies that has focused on the observation of users behaviour, especially during fruition pro and antivaccine pages inside social networks, has shown how the effect of “selective exposure” to non-truthful content within social networks produces a large influx of users who draw information from the "no-vax" pages without any control about the sources. Polarization of users on social networks provides a useful clue to understand the phenomenon called "misinformation" whereby a subject becomes an "involuntary" agent of the spreading of mistaken information outside the virtual context. Objectives. The purpose of the present study is to investigate whether exist a relationship between personality patterns and the ways used by the subjects to select informations recognized as “ego-syntonic.” The following areas will be explored: - beliefs related to pharmaceutic, vaccines and complementary and alternative medicine (C.A.M.) treatments; - personality patterns assessed through the administration of personality questionnaires (Minnesota Multiphasic personality inventory-2, Personality assessment Inventory, Big Five questionnaire and 16-PF); - administration of self-report questionnaires that assess the presence of sceptical attitudes or non-objective thought that concern health-care topic (conspiracy beliefs scale, vaccine conspiracy beliefs scale, Vaccination Attitudes Examination Scale); Expected Results. Our expectations are to see that subjects who totalize higher scores on the scales focused on the assessment of specific personality patterns (for example the Pa scale of MMPI-2) are more inclined to mark the items focused on conspiracy beliefs and mistaken beliefs towards pharmacological and medical treatments. Future Perspectives. Our study could suggest how the detection of a set of specific personality models can be correlated with the mode of selection of information that is recognized by the subject as ego-syntonic, as suggested by the “confirmation bias” theory. Our expected findings could be useful to improve the “health communication techniques.”
Felice Marco Damato
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