Using Weight-of-Experts Messaging to Communicate Accurately About Contested Science

TitleUsing Weight-of-Experts Messaging to Communicate Accurately About Contested Science
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsDunwoody, S, Kohl, PA
JournalScience Communication
Date Published2017
Publication Languageeng
ISBN Number15528545
Keywordsbalance , controversial , Evidence , PUBLIC , SCIENCE , specialists , Uncertainty , weight
AbstractResearch indicates that balanced news coverage of opposing scientific claims can result in heightened uncertainty among audiences about what is true. In this study, we test the ability of a weight-of-experts statement to enhance individuals’ ability to distinguish between more versus less valid claims. An experiment found that the weight-of-experts narrative led participants to greater certainty about what scientists judged to be true, which made participants more likely to “buy in” to that judgment themselves. 
NotesDunwoody, Sharon 1 Kohl, Patrice A. 1; Email Address:; Affiliation: 1: University of Wisconsin–Madison, Madison, WI, USA; Source Info: Jun2017, Vol. 39 Issue 3, p338; Subject Term: SCIENCE in mass media; Subject Term: SPECIALISTS; Subject Term: PUBLIC opinion on science; Subject Term: PUBLIC understanding of science; Subject Term: EVIDENCE; Subject Term: UNCERTAINTY; Author-Supplied Keyword: balance; Author-Supplied Keyword: controversial science; Author-Supplied Keyword: uncertainty; Author-Supplied Keyword: weight of evidence; Author-Supplied Keyword: weight of experts; Number of Pages: 20p; Document Type: Article; Full Text Word Count: 7297