I do not have the means nor the time to test this idea. I came up with it last night, while watching a documentary on the way our brain reacts to the clothes of a news reporter asking us strange questions. I was talking to a colleague about this documentary and the idea of credibility and it struck me that we can influence the patient’s family decisions not only through the way we say things (this is something we already know), but also by the way doctors present themselves during medical consultation. For example, if the doctor wears his usual clothes he is more credible than those situations he presents in suit with no evident relation to his job. This is very important for all moral counselors working in hospitals and should be studied by those aiming at becoming professional moral counselors. Similar to Ethics Counselors/Ethics & Compliance Officers.
Now, let’s move to scientific expertise in general and scientific publications. My idea is to test credibility by looking at the size, color and layout of scientific publications. Are books more credible, more “readable” because they have the size, color combinations and the script usually associated with textbooks or specialized books? Are those authors considered “experts” because of the way their publications look like — for example, they look like “academic writing”? In other words, are marketing strategies affecting our acceptance of scientific publications? Do we end up considering some people as experts because we accept their publications as ‘credible’ or ‘scientific’?