Can scientists use simple infographics to convince? Effects of the “flatten the curve” charts on perceptions of and behavioral intentions toward social distancing measures during the COVID-19 pandemic

Nan Li, Amanda L. Molder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Infographics of modest complexity are commonly used to convey knowledge to non-experts. However, little is known regarding how the use of infographics may convince the public and lead to massive behavioral changes in response to an acute cause. In March 2020, scientists and journalists revamped a scholarly published graph into the “flatten the curve” (FTC) mantra that defined the United States’ initial response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This study examined how Americans’ awareness of the flatten the curve charts relates to their perceived effectiveness of social distancing measures, perceived controllability of the pandemic, and behavioral intentions toward social distancing measures. Implications on visual communication of science are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)898-912
Number of pages15
JournalPublic Understanding of Science
Volume30
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2021

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • flatten the curve
  • information visualization
  • visual communication

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Can scientists use simple infographics to convince? Effects of the “flatten the curve” charts on perceptions of and behavioral intentions toward social distancing measures during the COVID-19 pandemic'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this