PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology


Are we getting through?
The psychological basis of scientific communication

Nicky Hayes   School of Human and Health Sciences, The University of Huddersfield, UK

It is argued that a full understanding of why scientific knowledge is not more widely integrated into popular culture must draw on several levels of explanation. Within the psychological level, several different concepts may be useful in helping us to comprehend the barriers to public acceptance of such information. These include the mechanisms of social representation and social identity, the operation of schemas and personal memory, and motivational concepts such as self-efficacy and learned helplessness. Applying these concepts may enhance our understanding of public acceptance or rejection of scientific knowledge.

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