Date of Award

Fall 1992

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Communication

First Advisor

Griffin, Robert J.

Second Advisor

Badaracco, Claire

Third Advisor

Scotton, James F.

Abstract

This study employed an experimental research design to analyze the impacts of human health risk information and mobilization information on the effectiveness of environmental messages. The main measures of "effectiveness" were the messages' ability to stimulate readers to seek and process additional information about the environmental topic (these dependent variables are borrowed from James E. Grunig). The study also analyzed the effect of human health risk information and mobilization information on readers' involvement, problem recognition, and constraint recognition (James Grunig's "situational" variables). In order to assess whether these situational variables were more important than cross-situational attitudes in predicting information seeking and processing (as Grunig proposed), Julian B. Rotter'S scale for measuring overall (cross-situational) locus of control was-built into the test instrument. The subjects in the experiment were high school juniors and seniors. The environmental message used in the experiment was agricultural runoff.

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