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Jun 20, 2018 Article
An inconvenient source? Attributes of science documentaries and their effects on information-related behavioral intentions

by Sara K. Yeo, Andrew R. Binder, Michael F. Dahlstrom and Dominique Brossard

We investigate the impact of a science documentary on individuals' intention to engage in information-related behaviors by experimentally testing the effects of source type (scientist, politician, or anonymous source) and communication setting (interview or lecture) using a manipulated clip from the documentary, ‘An Inconvenient Truth’. Our results indicate that, compared to anonymous sources, use of authoritative ones result in greater intention to engage in some information-related behaviors. Additionally, our results suggest that increased intentions to engage in exchanging information can be attributed to negative affect induced by the clip featuring a politician. Implications for documentary films and science communication are discussed.

Volume 17 • Issue 02 • 2018