Information avoidance behavior: Does ignorance keep us uninformed about antimicrobial resistance?

Syed Imran Ali Meerza, Kathleen R. Brooks, Christopher R. Gustafson, Amalia Yiannaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


We examine the role of subjective and objective knowledge of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and antibiotic use in livestock production on information avoidance behavior. The study also assesses the effects of AMR information on perceptions of AMR. Survey data were collected from 1,030 individuals in the U.S. to evaluate knowledge and perceptions of AMR. Participants also made a choice to access or avoid AMR information in the form of an animated video produced for a lay audience. Results show that 39 percent of participants avoided AMR information and those with little or no subjective or objective knowledge of AMR were more likely to avoid information than more knowledgeable individuals. Among participants who chose to access AMR information, the perceived importance of AMR increased the most for those with little or no subjective knowledge of AMR, raising important questions about how to encourage willfully uninformed individuals to access information about critical issues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102067
JournalFood Policy
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • Antimicrobial resistance
  • Information avoidance
  • Subjective and objective knowledge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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