ERIC Number: ED179970
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Aug
Reference Count: 0
The Knowledge Gap Hypothesis and Media Dependence: An Initial Study.
Fry, Donald L.
Interviews with 548 heads of household randomly selected from the Columbus, Ohio, telephone directory provided data on the subjects' political knowledge, news information sources (television, newspapers), and educational level. These data supported three of five hypotheses about the relation between knowledge level and media dependence. There was a significant relationship between television dependence and local knowledge, such that increased dependence on television for news and information led to a decreased knowledge level. The opposite relationship existed for newspaper dependence; more highly dependent subjects had higher levels of local knowledge than low dependent subjects. Results for the third hypothesis supported the knowledge gap hypothesis. In a situation of low salience and low conflict, there was a clear difference between lower and higher educated subjects, with the higher educated having a higher level of local information retention than the lower educated. Neither of the two remaining hypotheses found support in the analysis. There were no significant differences in the gap between mean knowledge scores of higher educated and lower educated groups when low and high television dependent subjects were compared. The same finding held true for low and high newspaper dependent subjects. (RL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism (62nd, Houston, TX, August 5-8, 1979)