Blinded with science: Trivial graphs and formulas increase belief in product efficacy

31 October 2014

The appearance of being scientific can increase persuasiveness. Even trivial cues can create such an appearance of a scientific basis. Researchers at Cornell University USA found that including simple elements, such as graphs or a chemical formula, increased belief in a medication’s efficacy. This appears to be due to the association with science, rather than increased comprehensibility, use of visuals, or recall.
Overall, the studies contribute to past research by demonstrating that even trivial elements can increase public persuasion despite their not truly indicating scientific expertise or objective support. An article about the research is published in Public Understanding of Science.
Click here for an abstract of the article.

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