Title

Reaching Readers: Assessing Readers' Impressions of Science News

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-1995

Abstract

Although most people rely on the mass media to translate the abstract principles and technical jargon of scientific research into comprehensible information they can use to make informed decisions about their lives and about science policy, there is little research examining people's impressions of newspaper reports on science and how these impressions influence their reading of science news. This study used think-aloud protocols to examine the responses of a small group of readers to two newspaper science articles. Results indicate that readers may be most concerned about their ability to understand the articles and their interest in an article's subject. When readers encountered information they could not comprehend, they used a number of reading strategies, such as rephrasing, questioning, and acknowledging a lack of prior knowledge. These responses illustrate how individual predispositions, social affiliations, and information processing abilities can influence impressions of science news. © 1995, SAGE Periodicals Press. All rights reserved.

Publication Name

Science Communication

Volume Number

16

First Page

432

Last Page

453

Issue Number

4

DOI

10.1177/1075547095016004004

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