Date of Award
Master of Science
Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication
Journalism and Mass Communication
Michael F. Dahlstrom
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.
Sun, Jingru, "Effects of graphical cues during information processing in a social science context" (2017). Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 15624.