Science exemplars in the eye of the beholder: How exposure to online science information affects attitudes

S. Knobloch-Westerwick, B.K. Johnson, N.A. Silver, A. Westerwick

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Drawing on exemplification theory and confirmation bias, this study examined exposure to online science information and subsequent attitude impacts. Participants freely browsed online messages manipulated to feature (a) either exemplar or numeric information and (b) opposing viewpoints, resulting in a 2 (exemplar vs. numeric) × 2 (supporting vs. opposing technology) within-subjects design. Online search findings pertained to four different topics: fracking, biofuels, genetically modified foods, and nanotechnology. Attitudes toward science topics were measured before and after exposure. Exemplar messages fostered longer reading among high-empathy individuals but less exposure among high-numeracy individuals. Participants preferred attitude-consistent messages, which produced attitude shifts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)575-601
JournalJournal of Computer-Mediated Communication
Volume37
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Science exemplars in the eye of the beholder: How exposure to online science information affects attitudes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this