The Influence of Narrative v. Statistical Information on Perceiving Vaccination Risks
Background. Health-related information found on the Internet is increasing and impacts patient decision making, e.g. regarding vaccination decisions. In addition to statistical information (e.g. incidence rates of vaccine adverse events), narrative information is also widely available such as postings on online bulletin boards. Previous research has shown that narrative information can impact treatment decisions, even when statistical information is presented concurrently. Objectives. As the determinants of this effect are largely unknown, we will vary features of the narratives to identify mechanisms through which narratives impact risk judgments. Methods. An online bulletin board setting provided participants with statistical information and authentic narratives about the occurrence and nonoccurrence of adverse events. Experiment 1 followed a single factorial design with 1, 2, or 4 narratives out of 10 reporting adverse events. Experiment 2 implemented a 2 (statistical risk 20% vs. 40%) × 2 (2/10 vs. 4/...