Thursday, August 27, 2015

Media Use and Science Knowledge

While skimming the latest issue of Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly (stop laughing, I publish academic work there too), I came across this study:

Science News Consumption Patterns
and Their Implications for Public
Understanding of Science

First, the title is missing a colon. All academic articles, to be truly academic, must include a colon. There's even a name for this -- titular colonicity. Serious flaw.

Second, it's an interesting academic study. The gist of it is this, that those who rely on online-only sources are more likely to have a better understanding of science, and this includes statistical controls for such factors as age, education and whether a respondent was a science major (a neat control). For you nerds out there, I draw from Table 2, which looks at predictors of science knowledge. These are unstandardized regression coefficients after lots of other controls.

Primarily television -- .04 (non-significant)
Primarily newspapers -- .02 (ns)
Equal online and media -- .02 (ns)
Primarily online -- .08*** (sig at .001 level)

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