University of Twente Student Theses


Making sense of food risk information : the influence of opinions of others

Reinartz, S.M. (2014) Making sense of food risk information : the influence of opinions of others.

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Abstract:The study aimed to identify how and to which extent the social environment influences the process of making sense of food risk information. Sense-making can be understood in terms of interpretation, searching and sharing of information. People need to make sense of information to get a more precise idea and a better comprehension of a certain topic. In an online experiment students participated in a simulated conversation with another individual in order to assess the impact of the social environment on the individual’s way of processing information. Nanotechnology in food is a mostly unexplored topic and used in the current study to investigate the way of information processing. Important influences of the social environment are the processes similarity and expertise, which shape the way individuals process gained information. The influence of social mechanisms on interpretation, searching and sharing of information are examined by means of the two populations, students and experts as interaction partner. The results of the study indicate that the content of the reports individuals received about nanotechnology has an impact on searching additional information about this topic. Surprisingly, results show that the content of information has no influence on interpretation and sharing. Furthermore the person individuals are communicating with also seems to have no impact on the information processing. The framework of the present study suggests further improvements for future research with emphasis on the structure and procedure of the experiment.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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