2022-09Konferenzveröffentlichung DOI: 10.18452/25224
Factors affecting undergraduate students’ information sharing behaviour when dealing with COVID-19 misinformation: theory of reasoned action
Sharing misinformation has become a widespread phenomenon. Social media networks have significantly contributed to spreading and sharing misinformation, especially during crises and pandemics. However, little is known about why people share misinformation. The study aims to identify the factors affecting undergraduate students’ information sharing behaviour when dealing with unverified information. The study also seeks to discover any statistically significant differences (α=0.05) in students’ behaviour of sharing information related to COVID-19 without verification attributed to demographic variables, self-efficiency, attitude towards verifying information, individual’s beliefs, and subjective norms. The study adopted the theory of reasoned action. A quantitative research approach was adopted via the use of questionnaires. An e-mail was sent to all undergraduate students enrolled at Sultan Qaboos University during 2020-2021, yielding 407 valid answers from various colleges. The reliability of the survey is 0.916 as a whole, 0.741 for the individual’s self-efficacy scale, 0.312 for the attitude towards verifying information scale, 0.809 for the individual’s beliefs scale, 0.916 for the subjective norms scale, and 0.846 for the behaviour of using and sharing information related to COVID-19 without verification scale. The effect of self-efficacy, Attitude Towards Verifying Information, beliefs, and Subjective norms on the behaviour of sharing information related to COVID-19 without verification were tested. Quantitative data retrieved from the questionnaire were analysed using SPSS 24. Several analysis tests such as frequencies, T-test, and multiple regression tests were conducted.Results. The findings support that there’s a significant effect of demographic variables, self-efficacy, attitude towards verifying information, individual’s beliefs, and subjective norms on students’ behaviour of sharing information related to COVID-19 without verification. This research showed that many factors affect information sharing behaviour. The research concluded that the students’ information behaviour could be enhanced by focusing on information literacy skills.
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