Primary study questions
- Do health-related scientific studies reported in media articles and shared on social and traditional media:
- Demonstrate a strong causal relationship between exposure and outcome?
- Use language that appropriately reflects the strength of causal inference in the study?
- Do health research-related media articles shared on social and traditional media:
- Accurately report scientific study findings?
- Critically assess the strength of causal findings of the scientific article?
- Reflect the strength of language used by the authors of the scientific article?
Secondary study questions
- Which institutions, such as universities, journals, etc., are associated with scientific articles in popular media?
- What types of exposures and outcomes are most common in popular media?
Questions which will NOT be answered by this study
These questions may be discussed, but will not be conclusively addressed in this study. Future expansion of this study may address these questions:
- Do media organizations generally over-promote weakly causal studies, relative to strongly causal studies?
- Do academic authors and institutions generally overproduce or over-promote weakly causal studies, relative to strongly causal studies?
- What are the driving forces behind the differences between the actual vs. the reported strength of causal evidence, if any?
- Are stronger causal inference studies more popularly shared?