The mental representations of a concept are clearly not invariant. Recent observations of contextual effects in categorization have revealed that people’s understanding of encountered concepts depends on the context. In this respect, we argue that the activation of Hwang cloning scandal can serve as a context that alters public understanding of science and scientists. In the experiments, this study examines the biasing influences of Hwang cloning scandal on the property-verification task (Barsalou, 1982 2 ) and the triad task (Savitsky & Izard, 1970 3 ). It is expected that the activation of Hwang cloning scandal may not only bring negative thoughts and feelings to mind in response to various concepts of science and scientists (the property-verification task) but also influence which features of science and scientists are selectively attended, resulting in different momentary concepts of them (the triad task). Besides, the impacts of Hwang cloning scandal on participants’ attitudinal reactions to science and scientists are investigated. The findings are discussed from the perspective of science-informed citizen relationship.

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Pulic understanding of science and scientists
The losses and gains from Hwang Cloning Scandal

Jinmyung Choil   University of Alabama l , Sogang University

Seong Cheol Park   University of Alabama l , Sogang University

The mental representations of a concept are clearly not invariant. Recent observations of contextual effects in categorization have revealed that people’s understanding of encountered concepts depends on the context. In this respect, we argue that the activation of Hwang cloning scandal can serve as a context that alters public understanding of science and scientists. In the experiments, this study examines the biasing influences of Hwang cloning scandal on the property-verification task (Barsalou, 1982 2 ) and the triad task (Savitsky & Izard, 1970 3 ). It is expected that the activation of Hwang cloning scandal may not only bring negative thoughts and feelings to mind in response to various concepts of science and scientists (the property-verification task) but also influence which features of science and scientists are selectively attended, resulting in different momentary concepts of them (the triad task). Besides, the impacts of Hwang cloning scandal on participants’ attitudinal reactions to science and scientists are investigated. The findings are discussed from the perspective of science-informed citizen relationship.

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