Knowledge gap effects in a health information campaign

James S. Etfema, James W. Brown, Russell V Luepker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

106 Scopus citations


The evaluation of a campaign to increase cardiovascular health knowledge indicates that within the treatment community, education was a significant predictor of knowledge before the campaign but was not a significant predictor after the campaign. Two variables related to motivation to acquire information about cardiovascular health (age and perceived threat of heart attack) were not significant predictors of knowledge before the campaign but were significant predictors afterwards. These results suggest that the infusion of information into a social system via the mass media can close as well as open knowledge gaps and that motivation to acquire information in a specific knowledge domain is a factor controlling gap effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)516-527
Number of pages12
JournalPublic Opinion Quarterly
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1983

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
James S. Ettema is Assistant Professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Minnesota; James W. Brown is Associate Dean, Indiana University School of Journalism Indianapolis Campus; and Russell V. Luepker is Associate Professor in the Laboratory of Physiological Hygiene, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota. This research was supported in part by grant IROI HL-22263 from the National Institutes of Health to Russell V. Luepker and James W. Brown. An earlier version of this report was presented to the Theory and Methodology Division of the Association for Education in Journalism annual convention, East Lansing, Michigan, 1981.


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