January 1, 2018

Let’s talk about science: The effects of memory on the social transmission of science

A Hubner

The Ohio State University


Individuals are often exposed to science information from both expert and non-expert sources. Previous work has yet to examine whether individuals are more likely to remember the information conveyed by an expert compared to a non-expert. In the research reported here, we examine (1) people’s likelihood of remembering information conveyed by domain-specific expert and non-expert scientists and (2) whether information from experts is more likely to survive the social transmission process. We find that information from expert sources are more likely to be remembered than non-expert sources and that information from experts are more likely to remain intact over person-to-person transmission. These are important findings for the field of science communication as it illustrates that individuals are distinguishing expert and non-expert sources when encoding information into memory.

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