Framing science and conservation films for wider acceptance: using social science to engage audience through their worldview and cultural cognition
Smithee, Tara Pearl
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Using the work of Yale professor Dan Kahan, this thesis explores how his 'cultural cognition' theory demonstrates the ineffectiveness of communicating controversial environmental topics using the deficit model. It applies Valerie Reyna's Fuzzy Trace Theory, which demonstrates how communicators can use 'gist' and 'verbatim' in their messaging to connect to an audience's worldview and reduce polarization. This thesis uses these theories to analyze three documentary case studies, including my MFA thesis film, Deep Discoveries. Deep Discoveries documents the underwater ocean exploration of Marine National Monuments in the Pacific Ocean from 2014 to 2016 and utilizes the above tools to promote conservation of the ocean.
Deep discoveries is a film that is part of the student's thesis project.