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ERIC Number: ED317901
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Jun-6
Pages: 16
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Psychological Correlates of the Transmission and Acceptance of Rumors about AIDS = Correlates Psychologiques Entre la Transmission et l'Acceptation des Rumeurs sur le SIDA.
Kimmel, Allan J.
Public reactions to the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) crisis are accompanied by the sorts of emotional and cognitive factors that have been identified by researchers as predictors of rumor generation and transmission. The present investigation attempted to ascertain the extent that various subjective factors (including anxiety, uncertainty, importance, and credulity) underlie the transmission and acceptance of widespread misconceptions about AIDS. A rumor questionnaire that listed 10 prevalent misconceptions about AIDS was completed by 229 college students. Rumors in the questionnaire were identified through consultation with AIDS rumor control hotlines, local health clinics, and the American Red Cross. The rumors consisted of prevalent misconceptions and myths about AIDS, focusing on alleged modes of transmission of the AIDS virus, circumstances surrounding the human immunodeficiency virus antibody test, and celebrity gossip. Consistent with predictions derived from a current rumor theory (Rosnow, 1980; 1988), rumor-specific anxiety was found to be the strongest predictor of AIDS rumor transmission. An unexpected finding was that subjects who reported having changed their behavior as a result of the AIDS crisis also were likely to transmit AIDS rumors. Anxiety-provoking rumors perceived as important and personally consequential were most likely to be believed. These findings have implications for AIDS public education campaigns. (Author/NB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A