Skill in evaluating media reports about science is an important aspect of scientific literacy for citizens in the 21st century. To identify the kinds of information individuals used to evaluate media reports about science, university students were asked to judge the credibility of specially constructed news briefs and to justify their judgments. Credibility ratings were influenced by the area of research, the plausibility of the conclusions, and information about the quality of research methods. Information related to the social context of the research had no effect, despite its importance for evaluating conclusions reported in news briefs. Students used a variety of criteria for justifying their judgments, including the information provided in the reports, prior knowledge, and prior belief. Implications for defining and assessing scientific literacy are discussed.
|Number of pages||20|
|Journal||Alberta Journal of Educational Research|
|Publication status||Published - Jun 1998|