Ruth, T. R., Settle, Q., Rumble, J. N., & McCarty, K. (2018). Predicting likelihood to pay attention to agriculture-related issues in the news with demographic characteristics. Journal of Agricultural Education, 59(2), 49-63


The public has more choices than ever when it comes to choosing media, which has led to gaps in knowledge across members of the public. Investigating motivational differences across demographic groups to pay attention to agriculture-related news could address knowledge gaps related to agriculture-related issues. The Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM) includes motivation as a precursor to attitude change. Past research has indicated the public utilizes the peripheral processing route of the ELM when presented with agriculture-related messages, which leads to weak changes in attitude. The purpose of this research was to explore how demographic characteristics could predict likelihood to pay attention to agriculture-related news issues. A nationwide survey of United States residents indicated that respondents were likely to pay attention to agriculture-related news topics. A regression analysis found the following to be statistically significant predictors for likelihood to pay attention: marital status, geographic region, age, and political beliefs. However, the model accounted for a small amount of variance in likelihood to pay attention. The results from this study illustrate that while U.S. residents possess the motivation to process agriculture-related news, they may be utilizing the peripheral pathway of the ELM due to a lack in ability to process the communication.

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