A new study investigates how manufacturers of harfum products, among which fossil fuels, smoking, alcohol and sweetened beverages, engage in misinformation tactics.
The researchers conduct an experiment with five conditions, each receiving a message from one of the four industry sponsored organizations. One message, in the so-called ‘control condition’, was receiving a message from an industry declaring risks of the harmful product.
The main findings show that
- Across all industries, exposure to industry-sponsored messages led to greater reported uncertainty or false certainty about risk, compared to non-industry messages
- Exposure to industry sponsored messages which appear intended to downplay risk significantly increases uncertainty or false certainty
- The effect of reading such misinformation and raising uncertainty is greater in less knowledgeable participants.
Citation: Maani, N., van Schalkwyk, M. C. I., Filippidis, F. T., Knai, C., & Petticrew, M. (2022). Manufacturing doubt: assessing the effects of independent vs industry-sponsored messaging about the harms of fossil fuels, smoking, alcohol, and sugar sweetened beverages. SSM – Population Health, 17, 2-7. 10.1016/j.ssmph.2021.101009
Find the abstract and more information on the study here: https://eucam.info/2022/01/20/manufacturing-doubt-assessing-the-effects-of-independent-vs-industry-sponsored-messaging-about-the-harms-of-fossil-fuels-smoking-alcohol-and-sugar-sweetened-beverages-2022/.