At the Intersection of the Digital Divide and the Knowledge Gap: Do Knowledge Domains and Measures Matter?
JungAe Yang and Maria Elizabeth Grabe
This study reports on knowledge gain, examined through three separate measures (free recall, comprehension, recognition) among high and low education groups who used two news media (newspaper vs. online) to consume two kinds of news (public affairs vs. entertainment). Results (N=123) confirm the knowledge gap and validate concerns about the digital divide. Yet, three different knowledge acquisition measures generated dissimilar findings: strong education effects for free recall, strong media format effects for recognition, and strong interaction effects between education and media format for comprehension. The implications of these inconsistencies are considered for measuring knowledge gaps in future research.
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