UBC Undergraduate Research

Conveying Information about Food Insecurity : Effects of Media on Food Insecurity Awareness Fergusson, Bryn; Zhang, Jeffrey; Chan, Shannon; Welch, Savannah; Hamp, Kasandra


Can the way one articulates information about food insecurity affect the way that people respond and act on said information? This study sought to investigate the effect of different information delivery methods, specifically a personalized testimonial or simply giving a mass of statistics to a participant and seeing whether or not the different ways information is conveyed affected the willingness of said participant to use food insecurity resources. We hypothesized that, based on past research, people would be more affected by the testimonial condition as it would be a more personable and identifiable effect. Through an online survey (n = 110) we randomly assigned UBC undergraduate students to a statistics condition, testimonial condition, or a control condition. An ANOVA was used following the data collection and no significant effect was found across the conditions. We associated this effect with insufficient food insecure participants as well as a floor effect in the questions asked. Following our research, we recommended that UBC conduct further research with a greater subject pool for a better understanding. We also recommend that those who advertise for Food Insecurity Resources focus less on the method they get their point across and more on the content. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

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