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Rationality and Context: Antidotes for Anthrax Anecdotes

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Abstract:

Two experiments, conducted approximately six weeks apart, examined the conjoint effects of participant rationality, as assessed by the Rational-Experiential Inventory (Norris & Epstein, 2002), and base-rate information on apprehension about a threat. Experiment 1 predicted and found that high rationality individuals who first received context-expanding information about a relatively likely hazard (traffic deaths) manifested less apprehension in response to a subsequent news story about a less likely threat (anthrax death) than did highs who read only the anthrax death story. It was further predicted and found that among low rationality individuals this relationship was reversed. Experiment 1 was conducted when the anthrax threat was perceived to be quite serious. The interaction was not found in Experiment 2, after national attention to anthrax decreased. Findings are discussed in terms of how high and low rationality individuals process threat-related information and how they respond to changes in the perceived seriousness of threat.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

ration (106), anthrax (101), experi (96), apprehens (92), stori (88), threat (73), signific (66), news (64), 2 (62), two (56), individu (50), item (44), high (43), data (42), 1 (42), serious (42), risk (42), p (41), m (40), particip (38), inform (36),

Author's Keywords:

base-rate data, apprehension
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Name: International Communication Association
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http://www.icahdq.org


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MLA Citation:

Berger, Charles., Johnson, Joel. and Lee, Eun-Ju. "Rationality and Context: Antidotes for Anthrax Anecdotes" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, Marriott Hotel, San Diego, CA, May 27, 2003 <Not Available>. 2009-05-26 <http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p112301_index.html>

APA Citation:

Berger, C. R., Johnson, J. T. and Lee, E. , 2003-05-27 "Rationality and Context: Antidotes for Anthrax Anecdotes" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, Marriott Hotel, San Diego, CA Online <.PDF>. 2009-05-26 from http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p112301_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Two experiments, conducted approximately six weeks apart, examined the conjoint effects of participant rationality, as assessed by the Rational-Experiential Inventory (Norris & Epstein, 2002), and base-rate information on apprehension about a threat. Experiment 1 predicted and found that high rationality individuals who first received context-expanding information about a relatively likely hazard (traffic deaths) manifested less apprehension in response to a subsequent news story about a less likely threat (anthrax death) than did highs who read only the anthrax death story. It was further predicted and found that among low rationality individuals this relationship was reversed. Experiment 1 was conducted when the anthrax threat was perceived to be quite serious. The interaction was not found in Experiment 2, after national attention to anthrax decreased. Findings are discussed in terms of how high and low rationality individuals process threat-related information and how they respond to changes in the perceived seriousness of threat.

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Document Type: .PDF
Page count: 35
Word count: 8348
Text sample:
Rationality and Context: Antidotes for Anthrax Anecdotes 2 Rationality and Context: Antidotes for Anthrax Anecdotes Abstract Two experiments conducted approximately six weeks apart examined the conjoint effects of participant rationality as assessed by the Rational-Experiential Inventory (Norris & Epstein 2002) and base-rate information on apprehension about a threat. Experiment 1 predicted and found that high rationality individuals who first received context-expanding information about a relatively likely hazard (traffic deaths) manifested less apprehension in response to a subsequent news story
35 Table 2 News Item Apprehension Means and Standard Deviations: Experiment 2 ___________________________________________________________________ Story Condition _____________________________________ Rationality Anthrax Only Anthrax + Traffic Deaths ___________________________________________________________________ High 24.11 26.54 (8.18) (5.79) Low 27.11 28.93 (5.93) (5.89) Note: Standard deviations appear in parentheses.


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