Knowledge about science and technology has become increasingly important in this age of digital information overload. It is also becoming increasingly important to understand what contributes to scientific learning, including information sources and trust in those sources. In this study, we develop and test a multivariate model to explain scientific knowledge based on past theories on learning from the news from the fields of political communication, sociology, and media psychology. We focus on the impact of sources—by platform, such as television and online, and by expertise, such as scientists and the media—in understanding what predicts scientific knowledge. The results show that interest in science not only directly predicts knowledge but also has indirect effects on knowledge through its effects on Internet use, confidence in the press, and perception of scientists. In addition, distrust on the news sources is an important pathway to learning about science.
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© 2015, © The Author(s) 2015.
- media and science
- popularization of science
- public understanding of science
- scientific literacy