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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton July 2, 2016

On the distinction and interrelation between first- and second-order judgments in cultivation research

  • Anna Schnauber EMAIL logo and Christine E. Meltzer
From the journal Communications


In cultivation research, differentiation is made between first- and second-order cultivation questions. However, their definition and relation remain unclear. This paper proposes a differentiation that focuses on the type of judgment underlying the respective cultivation questions. The former are frequency and probability judgments, while the latter are evaluative and address attitudes or values. Current theory in the field of cultivation research argues that these types of judgments are tied to on-line (second-order) and memory-based (first-order) processing. Based on psychological literature and a study on the cultivation of crime-related perceptions representative for the German population, we demonstrate that second-order judgments can also be built memory-based. Furthermore, we argue that the interrelation of first- and second-order judgments depends on whether judgments are built on-line or memory-based (especially in the case of second-order judgments). This may account for divergent empirical evidence in the field.

Published Online: 2016-7-2
Published in Print: 2016-7-1

©2016 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin Boston

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