Which has more influence on perception of pseudo-therapies: the media’s information, friends or acquaintances opinion, or educational background?
Moreno-Castro, C., Corell-Doménech, M. & Camaño-Puig, R. (2019). Which has more influence on perception of pseudo-therapies: the media’s information, friends or acquaintances opinion, or educational background? Communication & Society, 32(3), 35-49.
This study analyses the discourses of Education and Journalism students in order to understand their perception of complementary and alternative therapies. Likewise, to know if educational background or friends or acquaintances opinion has a more considerable influence on their knowledge and use of these socially controversial techniques than the media. This study uses qualitative research methods based upon 12 discussion groups with 102 participants. Once transcriptions were completed, discourse analysis was conducted using linguistic corpus software (T-LAB. 9.1.). In the design of the research, these students were selected for their social involvement in their future careers, such as when they are going to address or analyse scientific controversies, both in classrooms and media, or evidence-based medicine. Also, to complement the results of the qualitative study, and thus obtain more robust conclusions, this work compares the data collected in discussion groups, with results of a survey (quantitative research) administered to 718 students of Education, Journalism, Medicine and Nursing. One hand, the focus groups revealed that the information channels through which students learned about these therapies were by word of mouth and through networks of family members, friends and acquaintances and their digital equivalents, social networks and blogs. In all the discussion groups, a lack of scientific knowledge was detected. Second hand, survey results showed that the Education and Nursing students presented a higher level of acceptance of alternative therapies compared with the Medicine and Journalism students, who were the most unaccepting.
Conventional media, relative’s environment, educational factors, social networks, friends and acquaintances, complementary therapies, pseudo