YANSS 267 – Why the people who are most likely to suggest that you “do your own research” are also the least likely to do their own research

Sedona Chinn, a researcher who studies how people make sense of competing scientific, environmental, and health-related claims, joins us to discuss her latest research into doing your own research. In her latest paper she found that the more a person values the concept of doing your own research, the less likely that person is to actually do their own research. In the episode we explore the origin of the concept, what that phrase really means, and the implications of her study on everything from politics to vaccines to conspiratorial thinking.

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Sedona Chinn

Sedona Chinn is an Assistant Professor in Life Sciences Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Maidson.

She researches how social media influence perceptions of expertise and accuracy of beliefs surrounding science and health. Her ongoing work explores how empowering messages and aspirational wellness content on social media are associated with perceptions of experts, health beliefs, and political attitudes.

USDA Hatch-funded research is currently investigating how Instagram influencers inform beliefs about nutrition and agriculture. I explore how influential opinion leaders online cultivate credibility and use emotional appeals to spread accurate and inaccurate information about food and agriculture.

She also investigates the prevalence and effects of scientific disagreements in media to better understand how people evaluate uncertain information.

In this research, she has used computational content-analytic methods to measure politicization and polarization in climate change news and COVID-19 news.

She pairs large-scale content analyses with experimental work to investigating effects of civil and uncivil scientific disagreement messages and the efficacy of consensus messages in the context of climate change.

Links and Sources

Apple Podcasts – RSSGoogle PodcastsSimplecastAmazon MusicAudibleSpotify

Previous Episodes

Sedona Chinn’s Website

Sedona Chinn’s Twitter

Sedona Chinn’s Paper

The Other Paper Mentioned

How Minds Change

David McRaney’s Twitter

YANSS Twitter

Show Notes