Knowledge Gap Theory Video

Just another WordPress site

Knowledge Gap Theory Video

welcome to my presentation on the knowledge gap theory we’re going to talk about what exactly the theory is how it’s been studied over time and how it can be further applied in the field of AG communications so what is the theory the knowledge gap hypothesis that’s the formal name abbreviated as kgh was formed in 1970 with this article by three authors from the university of minnesota go Gophers and so these three really were the forefathers of this new theory the original hypothesis as it was stated in that article says that as the infusion of mass media information into a social system increases segments of the population with higher socioeconomic status tend to acquire this information at a faster rate than the lower status segments so that the gap in knowledge between these segments tends to increase rather than decrease they wanted to clarify that it doesn’t mean that people lower status are going to become less informed over time it doesn’t mean that they’re going to be completely uninformed it just means that people of higher status are learning at faster rate and that’s because of the mass media and the author’s base their original hypothesis off of 20 years of findings some of them their own some of them from other authors it was great because this new hypothesis explained all these things that had been found the level of education had been strongly correlated with how much people knew about political affairs or public affairs political campaigns science including agriculture and so more interest more knowledge more exposure strongly correlated with the higher socioeconomic status that made sense the mass media it didn’t seem as it had been raising reaching the general public and also this kind of explained you know maybe why it wasn’t reaching the whole general public I want to point out that originally this this theory was only meant to explain print media because they weren’t ready to make any major judgments about the effect of radio and television yet that still hadn’t been studied enough so this this is a really good example stick stay in the belief that man will reach the moon by education so as you can see people of higher levels of education we’re more likely to believe that man would one day reach the moon the people have lower levels of education and as you can see over time the gaps between these groups actually widened and that’s because people of higher education we’re learning more through the mass media so I think this is a really good picture to explain what exactly we mean by knowledge gaps and knowledge gaps widening and and why that might be a concern the knowledge gap hypothesis was based on five factors five factors of the authors thought and were attributed to the different socio-economic statuses and so these were communication skills stored information relevant social contact who people were interacting with selective exposure acceptance for tension and the nature of the system as a whole so some key questions that come to mind do these factors change over time is this an exhaustive list or are there other things that affect them the knowledge gap are these factors specific only to Western culture researchers presented conflicting factors right away within the first five years so this this hypothesis as it was originally stated you know it’s definitely been challenged but it really accept fourth a new way of studying a lot of issues so it was a really good good start so here’s the timeline and this timeline really shows that um there’s been supportive findings there’s been conflicting findings there’s been refinement new disciplines have started to use this hypothesis and this is only just a snapshot of a few of the really big studies that have gone on and I’ll just touch on a few of them but there’s been a lot of use of this theory and and a lot of of interesting changes in it’s structure so as I stated earlier it started in 1970 when the theory was formally established but the authors made modifications right away and in other studies they came up with they wanted to point out that smaller communities even though they might be less informed about national news they could still be really informed about local news and that in the 1975 study they came up with four major modifications that they wanted to add to kind of qualify what they had said and

they said that if an if a whole community was affected if there was a climate of social conflict if the community was really small and homogenious rather than being really diverse if these three were in place it was more likely that the entire community could actually be informed about a particular issue regardless of their socio-economic statuses and a fourth thing that they wanted to point out was that gaps could actually decline over time as attention decreased to a particular issue so if an issue wasn’t being discussed in the mass media as much as it had been before the knowledge gap for that particular issue could decrease so that’s kind of a key point in this study is that it looks at specific issues rather than knowledge as a whole so there was more conflicting findings and more new considerations to think about that came about and I’ll just point out a few interesting and usefulness and you know what was their effect were those directly tied to two socio-economic statuses because people are more interesting more more likely to to follow a story if they’re interested or if they think that information is going to be useful to them and that ties in directly with motivation and this study here showed that motivation rather than education had a real direct effect on the knowledge that was being gained and that study another study here they looked at motivation again and they said motivation was the reason why the theory was proven wrong in this case they did an information campaign and it actually eliminated the knowledge gaps of people’s cardiovascular health knowledge and they kind of assumed that this is because people were really motivated to learn about this particular subject so it was one of the examples of how this theory was conflicted with with findings afterwards so I want to mention again that they’re still mostly looking at print media at this point in time looking at newspapers circulation and the effects of that there’s research being done about radio and TV but it wasn’t quite lining up with the results that have been found finding about print media and so there still wasn’t a whole lot of a major conclusions drawn on the role of radio and print media in 1999 there was a study that really focused on motivation and it looked at the knowledge gap hypothesis and how it had been studied in the years from 1970 to 1999 and it said that three different models had been used and the first one the earliest model was the causal association model and that means that motivational variables are caused by socioeconomic status so motivation didn’t need to be looked at separately second model was the rival explanation model and so that said that education and motivational factors actually compete against one another to have an effect on whether or not people will gain knowledge now a third model this is the one that was suggested in this theory as the way that the the field should continue to go towards and to further test this theory because it made the most sense that’s so this motivational contingency model said that high motivation variables can lessen the effect of education based knowledge gaps so this was a really key study in 1999 now in 2000 things changed quite a bit because Stanford came up with a study looking at the internet use and how it had been changing the way Americans were doing everything and so this the study was also important to the knowledge gap hypothesis because it pointed out what they had found in the study was once people were connected to the net they hardly differ and how much they use it and what they use it for pretty much for the most part there’s a little drop-off with older people and gender gap but for the most part once people have access to the Internet they’re using it the same way the same amount so that that kind of a played a role in in looking at you know well if everyone’s using minute at the same way they’re gonna be gaining knowledge the same way from the internet or at least you know that could be one idea that you could draw from this study and something else to point out from the study it pointed out that people were abandoning traditional mass media they were deserting the media to use internet and

so it was really more prevalent in television people were spending less time watching television more time on the Internet and it also was happening with newspapers as well so so that really brought attention to the Internet and you know we needed needed to study this further in relation to the knowledge gap okay now the Swiss also did a study two years later about Internet use and their study brought ups and some key social issues for them because they found that the educational gap in the Internet access was actually widening from 97 to 2000 so people of different levels of education were you know having a differences in whether or not they had access to the Internet and it was even this is even more of a concern with the second finding that they came with they came across this finding here conflicts with the Stanford study because it says people of higher education use Internet tool and people of lower education use it more for entertainment so this kind of concerns people that I you know people of higher education are going to continue to gain knowledge for an Internet because they’re using it as a tool people with lower education aren’t really using it to gain knowledge as much they’re using it for entertainment so this conflicted with the Stanford study and it showed that you know we really need to continue to look further at internet use and maybe we had been wrong with our American study or maybe it really was a difference in culture I wanted to point out some key terms that came across and and this one was digital divide it means that some people are accessing the internet others aren’t accessing the internet so it became a a new area of study and one of the ways of studying it was using the knowledge gap hypothesis community boundness is a term that’s used – it’s it’s a way of measuring how a particular issue affects members of a community so kind of related to the study we talked about before the findings we talked about before and in this particular study here people of lower socioeconomic status actually had a higher knowledge of medical assistance programs because that was something that was important to them so community boundness kind of showed up as another variable to consider when looking at the knowledge gap hypothesis so new variables we’re always arriving in the field there’s need for cognition increased media choices if people have a choice in what media they get to use you know is that going to affect the knowledge gap and then new disciplines have continued to join formal education so this one’s really interesting when students come into a classroom they come in with different levels of education and you know does that play a role in their continued knowledge growth and so the study em it it showed us some conflicting results sometimes it proved the knowledge gap there you be true some time it proved to be not true but it brought up that if we are going to use the theory to look at formal education you know we need to think about the intention of education so why people are seeking in education and we also need to consider different knowledge types but that was an interesting study there so it’s been used in a whole variety of applications in tĂȘte and tests it’s been tested a lot of different ways looking at print versus TV News wider gaps have been associated with print because people with lower socioeconomic status um they also use TV and sometimes they do gain knowledge from that but that’s something that’s been challenged in different studies have shown different things but in this particular study it showed that wider gaps were associated with print rather than than other forms of media but mostly focused on television okay so more studies more support new variables coming into play there’s lots and lots of interesting stuff but I’m not going to go into all of it so we’ll skip over some really interesting findings that I just enjoyed learning about and we’ll go to the most recent research what’s been going on in 2013 related to to this theory and so mass media coverage related to HIV and AIDS in Ethiopia why didn’t the knowledge gap between rural and urban people so this proved the theory to be right and a certain issue here with HIV and AIDS now this one I think is really interesting here this is a study that was done in China and it was looking actually at smartphones and it was them

urban students update their knowledge get wider knowledge and have greater depth of knowledge which was really interesting because the rural students in this study they also had access to smartphones but they were using it differently than the urban students and in another study it it said that device type can influence capital enhancing which is another term that’s been used in capital enhancing means using using a source to learn about political affairs and so it was interesting that you know if someone’s using a mobile device rather than a PC that could really have an effect on what they’re actually learning from it and so one other thing I want to point out increased science internet and television use among lower education groups can help narrow the gap so if we would have information that’s being used by lower education groups through internet tell them that if they have that information if they’re using it it will help them gain knowledge so this kind of places importance on on putting science out there that way on the internet and in TV and this could definitely apply it to to increasing agricultural knowledge potentially because it is a science type knowledge so there are some interesting studies that have been going on recently so that’s a brief overview of the timeline for everything that’s been going on with the knowledge gap theory since 1972 2013 so now we’ll look at the field of our communications and how it relates to the hypothesis so as we saw the timeline it’s been used in politics health crisis communication I didn’t get to that one but that one’s interesting education um and it’s been used in science and it’s it’s been used in agriculture specifically and in fact it’s been used to bring new knowledge to farmers or to study how new knowledge gets to farmers or doesn’t and in fact before the theory was even started in 1963 there was a study that noted that barely literate farmers in developing nations are often relatively farther behind in farming knowledge than where they’re illiterate grandparents and so what that meant was that so you know some farmers were learning more about farming and there was new technologies out there but if certain farmers even though they could read they weren’t getting that information through the mass media and also in 86 agricultural diffusion efforts for one of the main areas that was being examined looking at the knowledge gap hypothesis so whether farmers were getting new information about how to farm how to improve practices but recently the u.s studies they haven’t been directly applying this hypothesis in the same way but other studies in other countries are still using the knowledge gap hypothesis mostly in developing countries so I’m so that’s one way that you know we have used this theory in agriculture but maybe it’s not really that necessary and United States agriculture anymore you know as long as farmers actually are getting the knowledge that they need however I see this area as a way that we can really benefit from using the knowledge gap hypothesis in Ag Communications so bringing farm knowledge to the general public so some questions that maybe we could answer related to this hypothesis so how does agriculture appear in the mass media how often what medians are being used so that would be a starting point also do education levels and socioeconomic status play a role in agriculture knowledge from the mass media so that’s something that I think could really be answered and and have a benefit to AG Communications what source what or what or does the source impact knowledge gaps so for example if someone’s learning about an agriculture issue from a general mass media publication rather than like an Ag specific publication you know does that influence how people gain knowledge or what types of people gain knowledge and also looking at the medium that people learn about agriculture from TV from internet do they learn about it through the radio just looking at at the way people gain knowledge and also considering different socio economics as different backgrounds rural and urban yeah there’s just a lot of ways that we

can apply this theory in our field an agriculture literacy is really what I’m thinking we can use it in there’s been a lot of studies on about AG literacy which is basically education about agriculture but none of them have directly referenced this particular theory and I think that this would be another another way that we can can further enhance the field of agricultural communications and yes so that’s that’s pretty much my thoughts on on agriculture communications and knowledge gap hypothesis so yeah those are all my references and if you have any questions you can email me so that pretty much sums up a little bit about the knowledge gap theory and I hope you enjoy the presentation