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Influences on Online Search Behavior About Vaccination: An Eye-Tracking Experiment

Sun, May 28, 9:30 to 10:45, Hilton San Diego Bayfront, 2, Indigo Ballroom C

Abstract

In this study, we investigate which information users search and read about vaccination on the Internet. Based on recent research, we examine whether prior knowledge about vaccination influences users’ search behavior and whether the reception of a vaccine-critical news article influences users’ search behavior. 56 participants participated in an experiment. EG1 (n= 30) received an online newspaper article about the risks of vaccination. All participants were asked to browse the Internet to inform them about vaccination. An eye-tracker recorded participants’ search behavior that was coded in a subsequent content analysis. The present study indicates that users’ search behavior is relatively stable. Neither the tendency of the search queries, nor the perceived websites on vaccination, or the recommendations for/against vaccination, evaluations, advantages and disadvantages of vaccination of the search results and the content of perceived websites differ significantly according to participants’ prior knowledge about vaccination or according to the experimental condition.

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