RAPID: Influencing Young Adults’ Science Engagement and Learning with COVID-19 Media Knowledge Gap Study #4 – Conceptual Mapping study
This collaborative research project between KQED, a public media organization serving the San Francisco Bay Area, Texas Tech University and Rockman et al conducted research to study how best to provide effective COVID-19 science news and social media content for young adult audiences.
To start the work, four “Knowledge Gap” studies – Twitter Misinformation, Mask Wearing Messaging, Germ Knowledge (A&B) and Conceptual Mapping – as well as social media testing were conducted to address our research question: How could COVID-19 coverage be designed to best inform, engage and educate millennials and younger audiences about the science of virus transmission and prevention?
For the Conceptual Map Study, we conducted interviews and mapped responses a little over one year into the pandemic with the aim of discovering more about what sorts of understandings and misunderstandings about COVID-19 are still prevalent.
Recommendations for media professionals:
The public would like to know verifying information: what is necessary and unnecessary in terms of public health practices during a panademic (wiping down groceries? Showering when returning home?).
They would like simple media explainers about COVID-19 and treatment: mRNA technology, difference between emergency use and regular authorization for vaccines, etc.