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.
KeywordsInformation processing Issue familiarity Primed encoding Definitions of emerging technology Nanotechnology Nanoscience
This material is supported by grants from the National Science Foundation to the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at Arizona State University (Grant No. SES-0937591) and the UW-Madison Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center in Templated Synthesis and Assembly at the Nanoscale (Grant No. SES-DMR-0832760). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflicts of interest
This material is supported by grants from the National Science Foundation to the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at Arizona State University (Grant No. SES-0937591) and the UW-Madison Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center in Templated Synthesis and Assembly at the Nanoscale (Grant No. SES-DMR-0832760). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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