What type of information is trusted by whom? A multilevel analysis of the stability of the information source-trust association for blood transfusion

Ferguson, Eamonn, Spence, Alexa, Townsend, Ellen, Prowse, Chris, Palmer, Joyce, Fleming, Piers and Van Hilten, Joost A. (2009) What type of information is trusted by whom? A multilevel analysis of the stability of the information source-trust association for blood transfusion. Transfusion, 49 (8). pp. 1637-1648. ISSN 1537-2995

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BACKGROUND: It has been suggested that transfusion information from scientific sources (vs. popular sources) is seen as more trustworthy and that interventions should consider using scientific styles. Before such suggestions can be implemented, it is necessary to know if this science source-trust link is observed across different sociodemographic groups and psychological characteristics. A large-scale field-based study examining the importance of sociodemographics and psychological characteristics on the source-trust link was conducted. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: A large field-based experiment (the Euro Blood Substitutes Project) was conducted on four different samples (the general public, blood donors, patients, and health experts) in the UK and The Netherlands (total n = 3935). Questions examined levels of trust about sources of transfusion medicine, various aspects of knowledge, and demographic data. RESULTS: People differentiated between scientific and popular sources, with scientific sources perceived as more trustworthy. General trust in transfusion medicine was higher for those who believe that they or scientists were knowledgeable about transfusion medicine or genetic modification (GM). This suggests that people do not differentiate in their subjective knowledge between GM and transfusion medicine. This science trust-source relationship was moderated by a variety of demographic (e.g., younger people were more likely to trust scientific sources) and psychological (e.g., those who rate science as knowledgeable were more trusting of scientific sources) factors. CONCLUSION: The trust-source link is not stable and communications should be targeted to the specific population samples for which they will be most effective; scientifically styled information will be particularly effective for communicating information within certain populations.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Psychology
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Centres > Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Cognition, Action and Perception
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Social Cognition Research Group
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 27 Oct 2015 13:00
Last Modified: 22 Apr 2023 00:42
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/54844
DOI: 10.1111/j.1537-2995.2009.02179.x

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