Two new articles published in Public Understanding of Science!

Congratulations to my research team of current and former students for getting our two papers published in Public Understanding of Science

Here are the sneak preview to our abstracts:

  1. “Public Engagement by STEM and non-STEM researchers in Singapore: A qualitative comparison of macro- and meso-level concerns” by Shirley Ho, Jiemin Looi, Yan Wah Leung, & Tong Jee Goh.

Abstract: Guided by the neo-institutional theory, this study compares how researchers from the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines differ from researchers from the arts, humanities, and social sciences (AHSS) fields in terms of how macro- and meso-level concerns shaped their willingness to conduct public engagement. Focus group discussions conducted among researchers based in Singapore revealed that STEM and AHSS researchers held different macro-level concerns. Particularly, STEM researchers raised more concerns about media misrepresentation, while AHSS researchers were more concerned about receiving political repercussions and public backlash. With regard to meso-level considerations, STEM and AHSS researchers cited similar institutional constraints for public engagement. However, STEM and AHSS researchers possessed varying public engagement competencies and held differing perceptions of their social duty to engage the public. Hence, STEM and AHSS researchers desired different kinds of media training. Policy and managerial implications, as well as directions for future research were provided.

2. “Does media exposure relate to the illusion of knowing in the public understanding of climate change? ” by Xiaodong Yang, Liang Chen & Shirley Ho

Abstract: By acknowledging that people are cognitive misers, this study proposes that people may rely on the illusion of knowing as cognitive devices for attitudinal or behavioral change, in addition to factual knowledge. Accordingly, this study shifted the focus of inquiry from assessing media effects in increasing factual knowledge to assessing how media consumption relates to the illusion of knowing. Using a nationally door-to-door survey in Singapore (N = 705), the results revealed that individuals’ attention to media messages about climate change and elaboration of these messages were positively related to the illusion of knowing. Furthermore, elaboration had moderating effects on the relationship between media attention and the illusion of knowing. These findings suggest that media consumption of climate change messages could drive the illusion of knowing, which is speculated to account for pro-environmental behaviors in addressing climate change. Theoretical and practical implications were discussed.

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