Selective perception of novel science: how definitions affect information processing about nanotechnology
This study examines how familiarity with an issue—nanotechnology—moderates the effect of exposure to science information on how people process mediated messages about a complex issue. In an online experiment, we provide a nationally representative sample three definitions of nanotechnology (technical, technical applications, and technical risk/benefit definitions). We then ask them to read an article about the topic. We find significant interactions between perceived nano-familiarity and the definition received in terms of how respondents perceive favorable information conveyed in the stimulus. People less familiar with nanotechnology were more significantly affected by the type of definition they received.