Journal Articles

Counteracting the Influence of Peer Smoking on YouTube

YouTube, a popular online site for user-generated content, is emerging as a powerful source of peer modeling of smoking. Although exposure to adolescent YouTube smokers increased perceived prevalence among some participants, it simultaneously increased beliefs about smoking’s adverse health outcomes and negative attitudes toward smoking, effects that were associated with reductions in injunctive norms of social acceptability. Interventions that communicate the severity and scope of health risks associated with smoking may undercut the descriptive normative effects of peer modeling of smoking on social media sites such as YouTube.
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Engaging in Effective Science Communication: A Response to Blancke et al. on Deproblematizing GMOs

As science communication scholars, the authors encourage interdisciplinary efforts such as those by Blancke, Grunewald, and De Jaeger to engage with the public on GMOs and genetic engineering broadly. The authors extend the advice given by these scholars with tips based on what they know from the science of science communication.
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Alcohol, Sex, and Screens: Modeling Media Influence on Adolescent Alcohol and Sex Co-Occurrence

Results suggest that for both White and Black adolescents, exposure to media portrayals of alcohol and sex combinations is positively associated with adolescents’ attitudes and norms. These relationships were stronger among White adolescents. Intention was predicted by attitude, norms, and control, but only the attitude–intention relationship was different by race group (stronger for Whites).
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Science Curiosity and Political Information Processing

This article describes evidence suggesting that science curiosity counteracts politically biased information processing. The article describes the scale-development strategy employed to overcome the problems associated with measuring science curiosity. It also reports data, observational and experimental, showing that science curiosity promotes open-minded engagement with information that is contrary to individuals’ political predispositions. We conclude by identifying a series of concrete research questions posed by these results.
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The Continuing Rise of Gun Violence in PG-13 Movies, 1985 to 2015

The Motion Picture Association of America created the parental guidance for children under age 13 years (PG-13) movie rating in 1984 to “strongly” caution parents about content that may not be suited for children of that age. According to that industry-supported group, “There may be depictions of violence in a PG-13 movie, but generally not both realistic and extreme or persistent violence.”
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The Importance of Relevant Emotional Arousal in the Efficacy of Pictorial Health Warnings for Cigarettes

Warning labels for cigarettes proposed by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) were rejected by the courts partly because they were thought to be emotionally evocative but have no educational value. To address this issue, we compared three types of smoking warnings: (1) FDA-proposed warnings with pictures illustrating the smoking hazards; (2) warnings with the same text information paired with equally aversive but smoking-irrelevant images; and (3) text-only warnings.
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