Degree Type

Thesis

Date of Award

2017

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication

Major

Journalism and Mass Communication

First Advisor

Michael F. Dahlstrom

Abstract

Social science is sometimes faced with legitimizing its own scientific value to certain audiences. The Elaboration Likelihood Model offers a way to understand how audiences process information and previous studies suggest that graphical cues within science messages may help to increase its perceived scientific value, especially among individuals with lower need for cognition. This study extends these predictions into a social science context by manipulating the presence of graphical cues within a popular article using an online experiment. Results suggest that graphical cues interacted with college major where students majoring in a non-science-related field perceived messages with graphical cues to have less scientific value, which is opposite of what was predicted. Within these non-science majors, need for cognition interacted with the treatment, such that participants with higher need for cognition perceived the messages with graphical cues and having less scientific value.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.31274/etd-180810-5238

Copyright Owner

Jingru Sun

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf

File Size

49 pages

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