- Oxford Library of Psychology
- Oxford Library of Psychology
- About the Editors
- Introduction: Why Science Communication?
- The Need for a Science of Science Communication: Communicating Science’s Values and Norms
- Overview of the Science of Science Communication
- On the Sources of Ordinary Science Knowledge and Extraordinary Science Ignorance
- How Changing Media Structures Are Affecting Science News Coverage
- What the Public Thinks and Knows About Science—and Why It Matters
- Science Controversies: Can the Science of Science Communication Provide Management Guidance or Only Analysis?
- A Recap: The Science of Communicating Science
- Science as “Broken” Versus Science as “Self-Correcting”: How Retractions and Peer-Review Problems Are Exploited to Attack Science
- Publication Bias in Science: What Is It, Why Is It Problematic, and How Can It Be Addressed?
- Statistical Biases in Science Communication: What We Know About Them and How They Can Be Addressed
- Is There a Hype Problem in Science? If So, How Is It Addressed?
- Is There a Retraction Problem? And, If So, What Can We Do About It?
- A Recap: Identifying and Overcoming Challenges to Science Featured in Attacks on Science
- A Comparative Study of Communication About Food Safety Before, During, and After the “Mad Cow” Crisis
- Cross-National Comparative Communication and Deliberation About the Risks of Nanotechnologies
- Communications About Biotechnologies and GMOs Across Europe
- A Tale of Two Vaccines—and Their Science Communication Environments
- A Recap: Science Communication in Action
- Science Communication at Scientific Institutions
- The Role of Scholarly Presses and Journals
- The Role of Governmental Organizations in Communicating About Regulating Science
- Science Communication and Museums’ Changing Roles
- The Role of Funding Organizations: Foundations
- Promoting Popular Understanding of Science and Health Through Social Networks
- Designing Public Deliberation at the Intersection of Science and Public Policy
- Translating Science into Policy and Legislation: Evidence-Informed Policymaking
- A Recap—The Role of Intermediaries in Communicating Science: A Synthesis
- The (Changing) Nature of Scientist–Media Interactions: A Cross-National Analysis
- New Models of Knowledge-Based Journalism
- Citizens Making Sense of Science Issues: Supply and Demand Factors for Science News and Information in the Digital Age
- The Changing Popular Images of Science
- What Do We Know About the Entertainment Industry’s Portrayal of Science? How Does It Affect Public Attitudes Toward Science?
- How Narrative Functions in Entertainment to Communicate Science
- Assumptions About Science in Satirical News and Late-Night Comedy
- A Recap: The Role, Power, and Peril of Media for the Communication of Science
- Countering False Beliefs: An Analysis of the Evidence and Recommendations of Best Practices for the Retraction and Correction of Scientific Misinformation
- Using Frames to Make Scientific Communication More Effective
- Philosophical Impediments to Citizens’ Use of Science
- Overcoming Confirmation and Blind Spot Biases When Communicating Science
- Understanding and Overcoming Selective Exposure and Judgment When Communicating About Science
- Overcoming Innumeracy and the Use of Heuristics When Communicating Science
- Overcoming Biases in Processing of Time Series Data About Climate
- Understanding and Overcoming Fear of the Unnatural in Discussion of GMOs
- Protecting or Polluting the Science Communication Environment?: The Case of Childhood Vaccines
- Overcoming False Causal Attribution: Debunking the MMR–Autism Association
- Overcoming the Challenges of Communicating Uncertainties Across National Contexts
- A Recap: Heuristics, Biases, Values, and Other Challenges to Communicating Science
- Conclusion—On the Horizon: The Changing Science Communication Environment
Abstract and Keywords
In a study published in 1998 in The Lancet, British researchers Wakefield and colleagues described an association between the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine and the onset of autism. Although the MMR–autism association failed to replicate and the lead author was discredited, the purported relationship decreased public confidence in vaccine safety. Parents continue to cite the MMR controversy as a factor complicating their decisions about vaccinating their children. This chapter focuses on misinformation involving false causality and discusses how it might exert persistent influence on individuals’ memory and inference even after being retracted. Additionally, using the MMR controversy as a case study, the chapter identifies some of the boundary situations that render a false causal attribution difficult to dispatch. Several communication strategies for overcoming false causality are recommended and directions for future research discussed.
Nan Li is assistant professor of agricultural communications at Texas Tech University. She received her PhD in mass communications at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and was the Joan Bossert postdoctoral fellow at the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on strategic communication and public opinion in the contexts of science, environment, and agriculture
Natalie Jomini Stroud is an associate professor of communication studies, assistant director of research at the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life, and director of the Engaging News Project at the University of Texas at Austin. In her published work, including her award-winning book ,Niche News: The Politics of News Choice, she examines how people’s attitudes and beliefs affect how they engage with information.
Kathleen Hall Jamieson is the Elizabeth Ware Packard Professor at the Annenberg School for Communication of the University of Pennsylvania and the Walter and Leonore Annenberg Director of its Annenberg Public Policy Center. She is co-founder of FactCheck.org, which researches the veracity of claims made by political players. Its SciCheck feature was launched in 2015 to expose the misuse of scientific evidence in political discourse.
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