As information flows into a social system, higher socioeconomic
status (SES) are more likely acquire at faster rate than low SES.
Relevance or functional nature of information tends to reduce
such gaps as motivation (information salience, concern,
involvement or participation) to acquire information starts acting.
Concept of community boundedness is defined as the immediate
interest towards an issue or topic pertaining to a community.
Education based gaps are less likely to affect the distribution of
knowledge in this case.
Motivation (or relevance) tends to overpower education as a
determinant of knowledge. The study seeks to understand the
interplay of motivation and SES towards the knowledge gap in
Hypothesis 1: KG are less likely and may narrow over time among
a group that is more motivated. Hypothesis 2: KG are more likely
and may widen over time among a group that is less motivated.
Research Site – The Cancer and Diet Intervention Project. Knowledge
differences b/w more and less educated groups (self selected vs. general
population) were analyzed.
Procedure – Survey and random digit dialing telephonic interview.
Dependent measure was dietary fat and dietary fiber knowledge.
Gap was analyzed b/w more vs. less educated groups.
Independent measure - motivation comprised of salience (personal
interest and personal concern), perceived risk (predictor of health
knowledge) and efficacy (response and personal); education.
Hypothesis 1: KG are less likely and may narrow over time among a group that is
more motivated. Hypothesis 2: KG are more likely and may widen over time among
a group that is less motivated.
• Women were far more likely than men to self select for the home-based
learning program, reflecting perhaps a greater general interest in
health information system by women. In general self selected group
tended to have slightly more education and greater level of concern
about nutrition than general population.
• The hypothesis were not supported.(??) The motivated group knew
more than the less motivated; the more educated knew more than less
educated, regardless of motivation; and that, for all groups knowledge
about dietary fat increased over time, except for less educated in the
• Group*Time interaction was significant, i.e. knowledge gap b/w
motivated and general population increased over time.
Education*Time was not significant, i.e. gap b/w more vs. less educated
group remained constant.
Relationship b/w motivation vs. education in
explaining knowledge gap is complex than expected.
Knowledge gap still exists b/w high vs. low education
Irrespective of education level, the gap b/w self
selected motivated group vs. less motivated general
population was significant.
Bottom-line – Motivation does not overpower
education as a determinant of knowledge.
Nevertheless, when combined with education,
motivation affects knowledge gaps.
(OLD) MEDIUM AS A GAP ENABLER
Television, Radio, Cinema and
Newspaper possess wide reach and
can be used to bridge the gap
SES effects can be negated,
however motivation still plays a
key towards accessing selected
Books, Games are accessed by
selected few and can widen the gap
SES effects hold (e.g. price
skimming in Harry Potter books,
premium video games); motivation
also plays its part towards access
& then came New Media …
with low entry
MOTIVATION IN INFORMATION WORLD
Tweet, (Re), and
Trending tweets bridge
the gap b/w SES (Celebs
Google Trends help
bridge the gap via
search 80:20 rule
Does it mean the knowledge created online is disseminated only to active (read: content
creators who interact heavily with it and therefore think critically) users – thus creating a
knowledge gap b/w active and passive users?
1. 73 percent of Twitter users have Tweeted less than 10 times and only 27 percent of those
with an account can be considered active.
2. Most of ‘educated’ class (even PhDs) belong to this class.
THE NEW DIGITAL DIVIDE
Socio Economic Status
If motivation becomes the key to knowledge acquisition (owing to large amount of
content/media choice present): does it separate society based on topic’s relevance? If knowledge
relevance also represents self-concept (which is easily reflected ‘online’), are we heading towards
narcissist views towards knowledge acquisition?