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Science in society: re-evaluating the deficit model of public understanding

Sturgis, Patrick and Allum, Nick (2004) Science in society: re-evaluating the deficit model of public understanding Public Understanding of Science, 13, (1), pp. 55-75. (doi:10.1177/0963662504042690).

Record type: Article


The “deficit model” of public attitudes towards science has led to controversy over the role of scientific knowledge in explaining lay people’s attitudes towards science. In this paper we challenge the de facto orthodoxy that has connected the deficit model and contextualist perspectives with quantitative and qualitative research methods respectively. We simultaneously test hypotheses from both theoretical approaches using quantitative methodology. The results point to the clear importance of knowledge as a determinant of attitudes toward science. However, in contrast to the rather simplistic deficit model that has traditionally characterized discussions of this relationship, this analysis highlights the complex and interacting nature of the knowledge— attitude interface.

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Published date: January 2004


Local EPrints ID: 80190
ISSN: 0963-6625
PURE UUID: 661ccbc0-0f6b-4beb-a1b0-34f6040fed3f

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Date deposited: 24 Mar 2010
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 23:14

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