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Impact of different representations of scientific information on people’s knowledge and attitudes

WorkgroupKnowledge Construction Lab
FundingSOEP-Innovation Sample, IWM budget resources
Project description

In this research project we examine how different forms of presenting factual information influence people’s knowledge about and attitudes toward foxes. In particular, the project deals with the impact of different forms of visual and textual representations. It examines whether emotionalization through visual methods has a similar effect as emotionalization mediated by textual representations.

The research question of this project will be investigated by surveys of a representative sample. For this purpose, we make use of the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), which is located at the German Institute for Economic Research, and which provides representative repetitive surveys of German private households. Specifically, the investigations take place within the "SOEP Innovation Sample". We capture the knowledge and the attitudes of the participants in a longitudinal study with two measurement points. Between the first and the second measurement, the participants of different examination conditions receive different information material in which the emotionalization through visual and textual representations is systematically varied. In addition, we examine the extent to which the results are influenced by the age or educational background of the recipients.

In addition to the German Institute for Economic Research, the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research is another partner in the project, which provides expertise in the presentation of results from biodiversity research. From the results of these studies, we will derive recommendations for successful strategies of science communication on the results of scientific research.


Dr. David Richter, Deutsches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung

Dr. Miriam Brandt, Leibniz-Institut für Zoo- und Wildtierforschung


Flemming, D., Cress, U., Kimmig, S., Brandt, M., & Kimmerle, J. (2018). Emotionalization in science communication: The impact of narratives and visual representations on knowledge gain and risk perception. Frontiers in Communication, 3(3).