ERIC Number: ED115431
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1975-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
The Diffusion of Health Information: Medicine Hucksters Can Teach Us Something.
Simoni, Joseph J.; Ball, Richard A.
During 1974, the role and effectiveness of the Mexican medicine huckster were examined within the context of a specified information diffusion process. Seventy-five hucksters were observed at work in three states of Mexico (Oaxaca, Michoacan, and Mexico) and in the Federal District (Mexico City area). Twenty-five sales pitches were recorded and 100 (31 males and 69 females) clients were interviewed. Clients were members of the lower stratum of the Mexican social structure, characterized by low income, poor housing, and little education. Of the 100 respondents, 54 were over 45 years of age, 51 lived in rural areas, 49 resided in small towns, and 87 had resided in the same location for 11 years or more. Names and addresses of clients were obtained by promising to deliver free samples of medicine to the homes of people who made a purchase. Some findings were: although all the medicines bought by clients interviewed were medicinally worthless (as verified by hucksters themselves), 78 of the respondents reported that the medicines had been effective (11 believed them to be ineffective and 11 were undecided); 87 expressed confidence in the hucksters--57 because they told the truth, 6 because hucksters explained well, and 7 because the medicines were not expensive; and all gave the medicine huckster the highest composite ranking of 10 potential sources of health information. (NQ)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Mexico