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ERIC Number: EJ1113246
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Oct
Pages: 24
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0922-4777
How Source Information Shapes Lay Interpretations of Science Conflicts: Interplay between Sourcing, Conflict Explanation, Source Evaluation, and Claim Evaluation
Thomm, Eva; Bromme, Rainer
Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, v29 n8 p1629-1652 Oct 2016
When laypeople read controversial scientific information in order to make a personally relevant decision, information on the source is a valuable resource with which to evaluate multiple, competing claims. Due to their bounded understanding, laypeople rely on the expertise of others and need to identify whether sources are credible. The present study examined under which conditions readers acknowledge and consider available source information. University students read two conflicting scientific claims put forward by sources whose credibility was varied in terms of either expertise or benevolence. They then rated their subjective explanations for the conflicting claims, perceived source credibility, and personal claim agreement. Results showed that when evaluating and explaining the conflict, participants became vigilant to source information specifically when source credibility was questioned. Conflict explanation through differences in sources' competencies mediated the impact of sourcing on source credibility. Information about a source's benevolence revealed a strong direct effect on credibility judgments. However, motivation explanations did not clarify the relationship. Overall, findings show that readers consider source information and apply it adaptively when handling conflicting scientific information.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A