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Rationality and Context: Antidotes for Anthrax Anecdotes
Unformatted Document Text:  21 risk (r = .35, p < .01), the quantitative estimate of victimization risk (r = .25, p < .05) the newsworthiness of the anthrax story (r = .23, p < .05), and the estimated seriousness of anthrax as a national problem (r = .65, p < .01). As was the case in Experiment 1, the three media exposure items (TV, radio and newspapers) and the item concerned with how closely one follows the news were not significantly correlated with news item apprehension. The three media exposure items and the how closely the news is followed item were also correlated with the rationality and experientiality scales. Consistent with Experiment 1, individuals scoring higher on rationality tended to report that they followed the news more closely than did their less rationally oriented counterparts (r = .25, p < .05). Once again, none of the three media exposure measures correlated significantly with either scale; however, there was a significant correlation between the reported amount of newspaper exposure and how closely individuals followed the news (r = .38, p < .01). Combined Analyses A series of 2 X 2 X 2 ANOVAs, employing the two story conditions, rationality and time, was computed on the aggregated data of the two experiments. Analyses of the newsworthiness, informativeness, and two anthrax victimization risk items produced no significant main effects or interactions. However, the ANOVA of the seriousness of anthrax as a national problem yielded a significant main effect for time that duplicated the previously reported comparisons between the two experiments, F(1,152) = 5.14, p < .03, 2 = .03. Experiment 1 participants judged anthrax to be a more serious national problem than did those individuals who took part in Experiment 2.

Authors: Berger, Charles., Johnson, Joel. and Lee, Eun-Ju.
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risk (r = .35, p < .01), the quantitative estimate of victimization risk (r = .25, p < .05) the
newsworthiness of the anthrax story (r = .23, p < .05), and the estimated seriousness of
anthrax as a national problem (r = .65, p < .01). As was the case in Experiment 1, the
three media exposure items (TV, radio and newspapers) and the item concerned with how
closely one follows the news were not significantly correlated with news item
apprehension. The three media exposure items and the how closely the news is followed
item were also correlated with the rationality and experientiality scales. Consistent with
Experiment 1, individuals scoring higher on rationality tended to report that they
followed the news more closely than did their less rationally oriented counterparts (r
= .25, p < .05). Once again, none of the three media exposure measures correlated
significantly with either scale; however, there was a significant correlation between the
reported amount of newspaper exposure and how closely individuals followed the news (r
= .38, p < .01).
Combined Analyses
A series of 2 X 2 X 2 ANOVAs, employing the two story conditions, rationality
and time, was computed on the aggregated data of the two experiments. Analyses of the
newsworthiness, informativeness, and two anthrax victimization risk items produced no
significant main effects or interactions. However, the ANOVA of the seriousness of
anthrax as a national problem yielded a significant main effect for time that duplicated
the previously reported comparisons between the two experiments, F(1,152) = 5.14, p
< .03,
2
= .03. Experiment 1 participants judged anthrax to be a more serious national
problem than did those individuals who took part in Experiment 2.


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