• Journal Article

Connecting interpersonal and mass communication: Science news exposure, perceived ability to understand science, and conversation

Citation

Southwell, B., & Torres, A. (2006). Connecting interpersonal and mass communication: Science news exposure, perceived ability to understand science, and conversation. Communication Monographs, 73(3), 334-350. DOI: 10.1080/03637750600889518

Abstract

We present experimental data (n = 667) supporting three hypotheses that link science news, perceptions about science, and talk with other people. Regular television news viewers were recruited from a midsize Designated Market Area using random digit dialing, and were randomly assigned to one of three science news exposure conditions. As hypothesized, science television news exposure appears to boost perceived ability to understand science. We also find that perceived ability to understand science, in turn, predicts conversations about science. We note connections to literature on the role of talk in mass communication effects and encourage future work in this vein