Communicating for the Safe Use of Medicines : Progress and Directions for the 2020s Promoted by the Special Interest Group of the International Society of Pharmacovigilance
2023, Bahri, Priya, Bowring, Geoffrey, Edwards, Brian D., Anton, Christopher, Aronson, Jeffrey K., Caro-Rojas, Angela, Hugman, Bruce P. J., Mol, Peter G., Gaissmaier, Wolfgang, Neth, Hansjörg
The echo in flu-vaccination echo chambers : Selective attention trumps social influence
2020-02, Giese, Helge, Neth, Hansjörg, Moussaïd, Mehdi, Betsch, Cornelia, Gaissmaier, Wolfgang
Online discussions may impact the willingness to get vaccinated. This experiment tests how groups of individuals with consistent and inconsistent attitudes towards flu vaccination attend to and convey information online, and how they alter their corresponding risk perceptions.
Out of 1859 MTurkers, we pre-selected 208 people with negative and 221 people with positive attitudes towards flu vaccinations into homogeneous or heterogeneous 3-link experimental diffusion chains. We assessed (i) which information about flu vaccinations participants conveyed to the subsequent link, (ii) how flu-vaccination related perceptions were altered by incoming messages, and (iii) how participants perceived incoming information.
Participants (i) selectively conveyed attitude-consistent information, but exhibited no overall anti-vaccination bias, (ii) were reluctant to alter their flu-vaccination related perceptions in response to messages, and (iii) evaluated incoming information consistent with their prior attitudes as more convincing.
Flu-vaccination related perceptions are resilient against contradictions and bias online communication. Contrary to expectations, there was no sign of amplification of anti-vaccine attitudes by online communication.
Perspectives on the 2×2 Matrix : Solving Semantically Distinct Problems Based on a Shared Structure of Binary Contingencies
2021-02-09, Neth, Hansjörg, Gradwohl, Nico, Streeb, Dirk, Keim, Daniel A., Gaissmaier, Wolfgang
Cognition is both empowered and limited by representations. The matrix lens model explicates tasks that are based on frequency counts, conditional probabilities, and binary contingencies in a general fashion. Based on a structural analysis of such tasks, the model links several problems and semantic domains and provides a new perspective on representational accounts of cognition that recognizes representational isomorphs as opportunities, rather than as problems. The shared structural construct of a 2×2 matrix supports a set of generic tasks and semantic mappings that provide a unifying framework for understanding problems and defining scientific measures. Our model's key explanatory mechanism is the adoption of particular perspectives on a 2×2 matrix that categorizes the frequency counts of cases by some condition, treatment, risk, or outcome factor. By the selective steps of filtering, framing, and focusing on specific aspects, the measures used in various semantic domains negotiate distinct trade-offs between abstraction and specialization. As a consequence, the transparent communication of such measures must explicate the perspectives encapsulated in their derivation. To demonstrate the explanatory scope of our model, we use it to clarify theoretical debates on biases and facilitation effects in Bayesian reasoning and to integrate the scientific measures from various semantic domains within a unifying framework. A better understanding of problem structures, representational transparency, and the role of perspectives in the scientific process yields both theoretical insights and practical applications.
FFTrees : A toolbox to create, visualize, and evaluate fast-and-frugal decision trees
2017, Phillips, Nathaniel D., Neth, Hansjörg, Woike, Jan K., Gaissmaier, Wolfgang
Fast-and-frugal trees (FFTs) are simple algorithms that facilitate efficient and accurate decisions based on limited information. But despite their successful use in many applied domains, there is no widely available toolbox that allows anyone to easily create, visualize, and evaluate FFTs. We fill this gap by introducing the R package FFTrees. In this paper, we explain how FFTs work, introduce a new class of algorithms called fan for constructing FFTs, and provide a tutorial for using the FFTrees package. We then conduct a simulation across ten real-world datasets to test how well FFTs created by FFTrees can predict data. Simulation results show that FFTs created by FFTrees can predict data as well as popular classification algorithms such as regression and random forests, while remaining simple enough for anyone to understand and use.
Determinants of information diffusion in online communication on vaccination : The benefits of visual displays
2021, Giese, Helge, Neth, Hansjörg, Gaissmaier, Wolfgang
Social media are an increasingly important source of information on the benefits and risks of vaccinations, but the high prevalence of misinformation provides challenges for informed vaccination decisions. It is therefore important to understand which messages are likely to diffuse online and why, and how relevant aspects—such as scientific facts on vaccination effectiveness—can be made more comprehensible and more likely to be shared. In two studies, we (i) explore which characteristics of messages on flu vaccination facilitate their diffusion in online communication, and (ii) whether visual displays (i.e., icon arrays) facilitate the comprehension and diffusion of scientific effectiveness information.
In Study 1, 208 participants each rated a random sample of 15 out of 63 messages on comprehensibility, trustworthiness, persuasiveness, familiarity, informativeness, valence, and arousal, and then reported which information they would share with subsequent study participants. In Study 2 (N = 758), we employed the same rating procedure for a selected set of 9 messages and experimentally manipulated how scientific effectiveness information was displayed.
Study 1 illustrated that scientific effectiveness information was difficult to understand and thus did not diffuse well. Study 2 demonstrated that visual displays improved the understanding of this information, which could, in turn, increase its social impact.
The comprehensibility of scientific information is an important prerequisite for its diffusion. Visual displays can facilitate informed vaccination decisions by rendering important information on vaccination effectiveness more transparent and increasing the willingness to share this information.