Strategic science communication as planned behavior: Understanding scientists’ willingness to choose specific tactics

Last modified: 
October 28, 2019 - 3:37pm
Type: Journal Article
Year of publication: 2019
Date published: 10/2019
Authors: John Besley, Kathryn O’Hara, Anthony Dudo
Journal title: PLOS ONE
Volume: 14
Issue: 10
Pages: e0224039

Strategic science communicators need to select tactics that can help them achieve both their short-term communication objectives and long-term behavioral goals. However, little previous research has sought to develop theory aimed at understanding what makes it more likely that a communicator will prioritize specific communication tactics. The current study aims to advance the development of a theory of strategic science communication as planned behavior based on the Integrated Behavioral Model. It does so in the context of exploring Canadian scientists’ self-reported willingness to prioritize six different tactics as a function of attitudinal, normative, and efficacy beliefs. The results suggest that scientists’ beliefs about ethicality, norms, response efficacy, and self-efficacy, are all meaningful predictors of willingness to prioritize specific tactics. Differences between scientists in terms of demographics and related variables provide only limited benefit in predicting such willingness.

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