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Interpreting Online Health Information -- HER Daily Dose

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More Videos from Bailey Mosier 30 videos in this series

In this edition of "HER Daily Dose," Bailey Mosier explains why some people may rush sooner to the doctor than others after researching health information online.

Hi, I’m Bailey Mosier. This is your EmpowHER HER Daily Dose.

More than 60 percent of Americans get their health information online, and a majority of those decide whether to see a doctor based on what they find. But the way the information is framed can impact the way you interpret it.

Researchers from Arizona State University found that the way information is presented – specifically, the order in which symptoms are listed – makes a significant difference. People irrationally infer more meanings from a streak, that is, an uninterrupted series of consecutively reported symptoms. Researchers found if people check off more symptoms in a row, they perceive a higher personal risk of having that illness.

There are ways to structure information so as to encourage people to seek earlier health screenings or to limit overreaction, and if used appropriately, these findings could help people seek medical attention at the appropriate stage.

That wraps up your EmpowHER HER Daily Dose. Join me here at EmpowHER.com every weekday for your next dose of women’s health.

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September 21, 2012 - 12:09am
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