Specific Situations or Specific People? How Do Extrinsic and Intrinsic Factors Interact in Cultivation Research?

Christine E. Meltzer, Anna Schnauber



Based on the rationale of dual process models, processing strategies influence the cultivation of first-order beliefs. Dual process models predict two key prerequisites for processing systematically: motivation and ability, which in turn can be influenced by intrinsic as well as extrinsic factors. Yet most research has concentrated on extrinsic factors by varying characteristics of the situation. The interaction between intrinsic and extrinsic characteristics, however, has not been researched to date. We present a field study testing for this kind of interaction. Results of a general population study indicate that intrinsic (education) as well as extrinsic (survey mode) factors moderate cultivation. Additionally, we found a person-situation interaction, indicating that cultivation is influenced by extrinsic factors in different ways, depending on an individual’s intrinsic characteristics.


cultivation, heuristic processing, information processing, media bias perceptions, media effects

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