Ruth, T. K., Rumble, J. N., Lamm, A. J., & Ellis, J. D. (2018).  A model for understanding decision-making related to agriculture and natural resource science and technology. Journal of Agricultural Education, 59(4), 224-237.


Agricultural educators, leaders, communicators, and extension professionals are faced with the increasingly difficult task of sharing science-based information to a public that is exposed to an array of media options, which are not always factual. Additionally, issues related to agriculture and natural resources (ANR) have become increasingly complex, and people can elect to only read information or communication that supports their pre-existing views on a topic. The complexity of disseminating information in today’s society has led to the proposal of a new theoretical model: The Decision-Making Model for ANR Science and Technology. This is a multi-facetted model utilizing the theoretical foundations from the Theory of Diffusion of Innovations, Theory of the Spiral of Silence, and the Elaboration Likelihood Model. In a world of echo chambers, this theory has the potential to break the cycle of decisions made with incomplete information and equip practitioners with the foundation needed to efficiently and effectively disseminate information through educational practice and informed communication efforts. An informed and aware public could make decisions about ANR science and technology with a more complete understanding of the issue, which would solve some of the wicked problems facing society today.

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