13/10/2022 (Thursday) 13:00-14:00 E21B-G002

Being Misinformed Versus Being Uninformed: Detecting and Distinguishing Distinct Communication Problems


This talk argues for the importance of distinguishing two forms of knowledge failure—being uninformed (uncertain about information) and being misinformed (believing objectively wrong information)—because of their differing effects on communication responses and associated judgments and decisions. The logic and method for distinguishing the two failures using knowledge measures is described. Based on results from two studies in the context of vaccination it is shown that the misinformed participants form a distinctive group—more susceptible to erroneous information than the uninformed. The importance of separately measuring and understanding knowledge failures to consumer judgment, decision, and welfare will be discussed.


Peter J. Schulz is a Director in the Institute of Communication and Health and Full Professor of Communication in the Faculty of Communication Sciences at University of Lugano, Switzerland since 2004. He has been in the positions of chairperson of Swiss National Science Foundation, and visiting fellow/professor at well-known universities in Netherland, Australia, Singapore, Italy, UK, and Germany. His research interests mainly focus on health literacy, doctor-patient relation, health promotion, risk communication, vaccination and diseases, etc. He has published over 250 journal articles, editorial reports, books, and book chapters