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Digitale Medien als Informationsquelle über Umwelt und Gesundheit für Laien

  • Kai Sassenberg
Leitthema

Zusammenfassung

In den letzten zwei Jahrzehnten ist das Internet zur zentralen Informationsquelle geworden. Laien haben im Bereich Umwelt und Gesundheit über das Internet Zugang zu Information, die ihnen vorher, wenn überhaupt, nur sehr schwer zugänglich war (z. B. wissenschaftliche Publikationen und Statistiken). Das Internet stellt aber Information unterschiedlicher Qualität (und ohne Qualitätskontrolle) bereit, da grundsätzlich jeder Nutzer Meinungen und Materialien veröffentlichen kann. Gleichzeitig stellt die Internetnutzung eine spezifische Lesesituation dar. Durch die schier unbegrenzte Anzahl von Texten unterschiedlicher Inhalte und deren hohe Verfügbarkeit durch Suchmaschinen sind Nutzer nicht an einen bestimmten Text gebunden. Sie können je nach Motivation und Interesse Texte auswählen. Dies, gepaart mit der hohen Heterogenität der Quellen, führt dazu, dass sich die Motivation der Internetnutzer besonders stark auf die Informationsrezeption im Internet auswirkt. In diesem Beitrag werden anhand von Forschungsbefunden zur Informationssuche zu Gesundheitsthemen die Implikationen für die Nutzung digitaler Medien im umweltmedizinischen Bereich diskutiert. Diese Forschung legt vier generelle Tendenzen nahe: (1) Nutzer berücksichtigen die Qualität der Informationen unzureichend. (2) Information, die die eigene Meinung stützt, wird präferiert verarbeitet. (3) Nutzer, die sich bedroht fühlen, verarbeiten präferiert positive Information. (4) Wachsame Internetnutzer fokussieren auf negative Information, was zur viel zitierten Cyberchondrie führen kann. Die Implikationen dieser Zusammenhänge für die Nutzung digitaler Medien im Bereich der Umweltmedizin werden diskutiert.

Schlüsselwörter

Gesundheitsinformation Informationsverarbeitung Apps Internet Emotionen 

Digital media as laypeople’s source of information about the environment and health

Abstract

Over the last two decades, the Internet has become the primary source of information. Thanks to the Internet, laypeople have access to information from the health and the environmental sector, which was for a long time available only to experts (e. g. scientific publications, statistics). Information on the Internet varies in quality, as generally anybody can publish online, without any quality control. At the same time, Internet use comes with specific situational characteristics. Given that the amount of information is nearly unlimited and that this information is easily available via search engines, users are not restricted to one or just a few texts, but can choose between multiple sources depending on their motivation and interest. Together with the heterogeneity of the sources, this provides the basis for a strong impact of motivation on the process and the outcomes of information acquisition online. Based on empirical research in the domain of Internet searching in the health sector, the current article discusses the impact of the use of digital media in the context of environmental medicine. Research has led to four conclusions: (1) Users are not sufficiently sensitive to the quality of information. (2) Information supporting their own opinion is preferably processed. (3) Users who feel threatened focus on positive information. (4) Vigilant users focus on negative information, which might result in cyberchrondria. The implications of these effects for the use of digital media in the sector of environmental medicine are discussed.

Keywords

Health information Information processing Apps Internet Emotions 

Notes

Einhaltung ethischer Richtlinien

Interessenkonflikt

K. Sassenberg gibt an, dass kein Interessenkonflikt besteht.

Dieser Beitrag beinhaltet keine von den Autoren durchgeführten Studien an Menschen oder Tieren.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien und Universität TübingenTübingenDeutschland

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