Understanding public support for stem cell research: Media communication, interpersonal communication and trust in key actors

Document Type



This paper analyzes data from a 2005 telephone survey of 1200 people in the US that included questions about attitudes toward stem cell research and a broad range of communication variables. After all controls, trust in university scientists and religious leaders, exposure to national television news, familiarity, and religious service attendance produced statistically significant main effects on perception of research benefits, together explaining about 31% of the variance. Interpersonal communication may also have contingent effects.


Interpersonal communication; Mass media; Media exposure; Public opinion; Stem cells – Research – Public opinion; Trust


Health Policy | Interpersonal and Small Group Communication | Journalism Studies | Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration | Science and Technology Policy | Science and Technology Studies

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