Date of Completion
Broadcast Meteorology, Credibility, Trust, Biological Sex, Race, Broadcast Television
Kenneth A. Lachlan
John L. Christensen
Field of Study
Doctor of Philosophy
Broadcast meteorologists hold a set of skills unique in a newsroom. Not only must a broadcast meteorologist utilize communication skills similar to that of a newscaster, they are also typically versed in some physical science. In addition, the field of meteorology has an unfortunate disparity when examining job statistics as they relate to race and biological sex. Generally speaking, men outnumber women in broadcast television positions three to one, and minorities are often outnumbered or excluded from coverage altogether. Drawing on Uses and Gratifications and Media System Dependency Theory, this project examines the effects of race, biological sex, and forecaster education on the perceptions of forecaster trust, credibility, and information retention. Two experiments are proposed, and analysis of variance and mediation testing will be used to examine the hypotheses and research questions. The first experiment tests the manipulations of forecaster race and sex in a mock weather hit - using a student sample. The results generally suggest that there are mixed findings for the effects of forecaster race and sex on the dependent variables of trust, credibility, and information retention. The second experiment tests the same two manipulations from experiment one, with an additional manipulation of forecaster education added. No significant findings emerged for whether the forecaster held a science or non-science degree. The results are discussed in terms of how individuals may perceive forecasters given their race, sex, or degree level, and the potential implications for processing information or forming attitudes and decisions based off this behavior.
Rainear, Adam M., "The Station “Scientist”: Examining the Impact of Race, Sex, and Education of Broadcast Meteorologists on Credibility, Trust, and Information Retention" (2019). Doctoral Dissertations. 2261.