The conceptualization and measurement of cognitive health sophistication

Graham D. Bodie, William B. Collins, Jakob D. Jensen, Lashara A. Davis, Lisa M. Guntzviller, Andy J. King

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article develops a conceptualization and measure of cognitive health sophistication - the complexity of an individual's conceptual knowledge about health. Study 1 provides initial validity evidence for the measure - the Healthy-Unhealthy Other Instrument - by showing its association with other cognitive health constructs indicative of higher health sophistication. Study 2 presents data from a sample of low-income adults to provide evidence that the measure does not depend heavily on health-related vocabulary or ethnicity. Results from both studies suggest that the Healthy-Unhealthy Other Instrument can be used to capture variability in the sophistication or complexity of an individual's health-related schematic structures on the basis of responses to two simple open-ended questions. Methodological advantages of the Healthy-Unhealthy Other Instrument and suggestions for future research are highlighted in the discussion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)426-441
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Health Communication
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Library and Information Sciences


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