This guide is aimed at policymakers and communicators whose efforts may be frustrated by false narratives and misinformation.
In healthcare, that can apply to important issues such as vaccination and mask-wearing, as well as to spurious 'cures' for serious illnesses. But the techniques explored in the guide can also apply to more day-to-day matters such as handwashing in healthcare settings.
The starting point is the 'wall of beliefs' - the various influences from which we construct our belief systems, and, to some extent, our personal identities. The point here is that belief is not simply built on facts. It also comes from social conventions, peer pressure, religious faith and more.
The guide offers a strategy matrix, based on understanding how strongly or weakly beliefs are held, and whether the resulting behaviour is harmful or not. A corresponding set of tactics looks at incentives and barriers for desired behaviour, along with communications that can address harmful beliefs without backing the intended audience into a corner.
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