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Rationality and Context: Antidotes for Anthrax Anecdotes
Unformatted Document Text:  19 their Experiment 2 counterparts (M = 26.57, SD = 6.56), t(158) = 2.12, p < .04, two- tailed. Finally, those who participated in Experiment 1 (M = 72.58, SD = 91.48) estimated they spent more time listening to the radio than did Experiment 2 participants (M = 49.07, SD = 51.00), t(158) = 1.97, p < .05. Because Levene’s Test for Equality of Variances was significant in this case, a non-parametric Mann-Whitney U test was computed for the radio minutes data. This test proved to be non-significant, Z = 1.41, p < .16. In general, these analyses suggest that for the most part participants in the two experiments were quite comparable. There were no significant differences between the two groups on most of the individual difference measures, including experientiality and rationality. However, they also indicate that Experiment 2 participants perceived the anthrax threat to be less of a national problem than did the Experiment 1 participants. Moreover, when compared with Experiment 1 participants, those who participated in Experiment 2 manifested significantly less apprehension in response to the anthrax story. Hypothesis Tests Although the preceding analyses demonstrated a significant reduction in expressed apprehension in response to the anthrax story across the two experiments, when the Experiment 2 mean news item apprehension value (M = 26.57, SD = 6.56), was contrasted with the scale’s theoretical mid-point (24.00), the difference was significant, as it was in Experiment 1, t(74) = 3.39, p < .001, two-tailed. Thus, overall apprehension levels in response to the anthrax story remained significantly above average in the second experiment.

Authors: Berger, Charles., Johnson, Joel. and Lee, Eun-Ju.
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their Experiment 2 counterparts (M = 26.57, SD = 6.56), t(158) = 2.12, p < .04, two-
tailed. Finally, those who participated in Experiment 1 (M = 72.58, SD = 91.48)
estimated they spent more time listening to the radio than did Experiment 2 participants
(M = 49.07, SD = 51.00), t(158) = 1.97, p < .05. Because Levene’s Test for Equality of
Variances was significant in this case, a non-parametric Mann-Whitney U test was
computed for the radio minutes data. This test proved to be non-significant, Z = 1.41, p
< .16.
In general, these analyses suggest that for the most part participants in the two
experiments were quite comparable. There were no significant differences between the
two groups on most of the individual difference measures, including experientiality and
rationality. However, they also indicate that Experiment 2 participants perceived the
anthrax threat to be less of a national problem than did the Experiment 1 participants.
Moreover, when compared with Experiment 1 participants, those who participated in
Experiment 2 manifested significantly less apprehension in response to the anthrax story.
Hypothesis Tests
Although the preceding analyses demonstrated a significant reduction in
expressed apprehension in response to the anthrax story across the two experiments,
when the Experiment 2 mean news item apprehension value (M = 26.57, SD = 6.56), was
contrasted with the scale’s theoretical mid-point (24.00), the difference was significant,
as it was in Experiment 1, t(74) = 3.39, p < .001, two-tailed. Thus, overall apprehension
levels in response to the anthrax story remained significantly above average in the second
experiment.


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