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Design Online Discussion Groups to Promote Intrauterine Devices

Presenter: Jingwen Zhang

Feb 16, 2017
from 12:00 PM to 01:00 PM

Kerr Hall 386

Presenter: Jingwen Zhang

Title: Design Online Discussion Groups to Promote Intrauterine Devices

Abstract: The notion that social interactions can influence individual opinions and health behaviors is widely accepted. Findings from a number of empirical studies show observations of clustering of behaviors and outcomes in social networks, indicating systematic changes in the social connections within which individuals are embedded in could be a promising direction for interventions. We conducted online experiments to examine whether and how different compositions of online discussion groups influenced women’s opinions on using intrauterine devices (IUDs). We conducted a series of 30 experimental trials, involving 60 online discussion groups with 120 current IUD users and 420 never-users recruited from the Internet from October 2015 to January 2016. Never-users were randomly assigned into two conditions: 9-person treatment group composed of 5 other never-users and 4 current users or 9-person control group composed of only never-users. Never-users assigned to the treatment group as compared with those to the control perceived more women using IUDs and developed more favorable opinions toward IUDs. Mediation analyses suggest that informational influence played a bigger role in the context of promoting IUD via online discussion groups, rather than normative influence.

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