A study co-authored by a Texas A&M professor shows that the endorsement of widespread but factually inaccurate beliefs could impact health behavior and policy.
You may have heard it before: Chicken soup can help you recover from illness. You can catch a cold from staying outside too long in frigid weather. Cracking your knuckles will cause arthritis.
Although some medical folk wisdom is widespread, it is often not consistent with medical evidence and scientifically backed research.
A new study coauthored by Timothy Callaghan, assistant professor at the Texas A&M University School of Public Health,he found that nearly all Americans — irrespective of socioeconomic status, political orientation or educational background — endorse at least some aspects of medical folk wisdom.
The study, published in Scientific Reports with Matthew Motta, assistant professor at Oklahoma State University, also explores another under-studied question: How do these widely held but factually inaccurate beliefs shape Americans’ health behaviors and policy preferences?
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