Framing of Information, Psychological Distance, and Belief in Health Related Information under Time Pressure in Older Adults


  • Vita Mikuličiūtė Vilnius University
  • Vytautas Jurkuvėnas Vilnius University
  • Viktorija Ivleva Vilnius University
  • Antanas Kairys Vilnius University
  • Vilmantė Pakalniškienė Vilnius University



The time of pandemics could be described by the overflow of health related news in media, but also the rise of researches concerning it. However, there is still a lack of information about message characteristics which effect belief in it, besides older people are underrepresented in these studies. Belief in fake news is especially dangerous for older people, not only because fake news usually promotes dangerous behavior (e.g. do not seek COVID-19 vaccination), but also because older people are the ones who are most likely to share fake news on social media in such way helping to spread them. The aim of the study was to estimate the influence of information framing and psychological distance on belief in health related information under time pressure in older adults. Study was based on representable sample of 50 years and older Lithuanians. In total 505 participants took part in the study. 200 (30,6 %) were men, 305 (60,4%) were women. Participants ranged in age from 50 to 94 with the mean age of 66,27 (SD = 11,24). Study was a between-subject design experiment. Belief in Health related news information served as a dependent variable, Framing of Information and Psychological Distance as independent variables, also age, gender and education were control variables. Participants were presented with eight fake and eight true news headlines about vaccination and COVID-19 in the form of social media posts for 7 seconds and had to evaluate their belief in these headlines. Results indicate, that neither psychological distance, nor information framing have any influence on overall belief in health related information in older adults. Even though gender and education were not related to overall belief in news, a significant positive correlation between age and belief in health related information was found. Our research prove that older people become more truth biased with age.


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