AEC faculty bring home top Journal of Applied Communications award
By: Norman Martin
A research team that included three faculty members from Texas Tech University's Department of Agricultural Education and Communications has been awarded the Journal of Applied Communications 2021 Article of the Year Award. The national honor was announced at this summer's virtual Association for Communication Excellence's Annual Conference.
“I'm proud for Dr. Fischer and her colleagues for this prestigious recognition,” said Scott Burris, chair of Tech's Department of Agricultural Education and Communications. “This award is reflective of Dr. Fischer's innovative use of eye-tracking technology in agricultural communications research, which is setting a standard within the discipline. It is exactly the reason we were so excited to bring her back to the department and on to our faculty team this past year.”
The award-winning article is titled, “Creating Relevancy in Agricultural Science Information: Examining the Impact of Motivational Salience, Involvement and Pre-Existing Attitudes on Visual Attention to Scientific Information.”
Representing Texas Tech's Department of Agricultural Education and Communications were Assistant Professor Laura Fischer, Professor Courtney Meyers, and Assistant Professor Courtney Gibson. Other members of the research team were Glenn Cummins, professor and associate dean for research and grants with Tech's College of Media & Communication, and Matt Baker, professor and head of Texas A&M's Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communications.
In a summary of the project, the researchers noted that in order to evaluate the effects of competing message frames on visual attention, an eye-tracking experiment was conducted to understand the interaction between pre-existing attitudes and issue involvement on participants' attention to messages about genetic modification and antibiotic use in livestock.
For products that are low in issue involvement such as food products and scientific information, the results indicated the reader devoted more time to reading advertisements that were framed to be more motivationally salient. Because selective attention is the first part in the sequence of how individuals process information and form attitudes, agricultural science communicators should highlight values and motivational salience in their messaging.
The Journal of Applied Communications is a quarterly, refereed journal published by the Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences. The journal focuses specifically on issues and topics relevant to agricultural and applied communication professionals and is peer-reviewed.
CONTACT: Cindy Akers, Interim Dean, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Texas Tech University at (806) 742-2808 or email@example.com