ERIC Number: EJ1021441
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 44
Source Effects and Plausibility Judgments When Reading about Climate Change
Lombardi, Doug; Seyranian, Viviane; Sinatra, Gale M.
Discourse Processes: A Multidisciplinary Journal, v51 n1-2 p75-92 2014
Gaps between what scientists and laypeople find plausible may act as a barrier to learning complex and/or controversial socioscientific concepts. For example, individuals may consider scientific explanations that human activities are causing current climate change as implausible. This plausibility judgment may be due-in part-to individuals' perceptions about the information source and the certainty associated with the message claim. In this study, we examined the relationship among source credibility (trustworthiness and expertise), perceptions of certainty in message claims, and plausibility perceptions about climate change. Our analysis revealed that trustworthiness and message certainty perceptions were significant predictors of plausibility perceptions, above and beyond knowledge about human-induced climate change. These findings suggest that perceptions about information sources may have an important influence on plausibility judgments and, consequently, on learning about controversial and/or abstract concepts.
Descriptors: Climate, Scientific Research, Credibility, Scientific Concepts, Information Sources, Predictor Variables, Concept Formation, Validity, Undergraduate Students, Knowledge Level, Controversial Issues (Course Content), Trust (Psychology), Expertise, Authors, Statistical Analysis, Online Surveys, Multiple Regression Analysis
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California