Analysis and evaluation of a chemical pesticide informational program planned for an urban audience

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute

This thesis was designed to assess the effectiveness of the Virginia Cooperative Extension Service's Information Project in reaching an urban audience, as could be determined by analyzing results from a planned informational program involving chemical pesticide information.

Data for the analyses were extracted from a primary study, "The Effect of a Planned Communications Program on Change of Attitude and Knowledge of the Urban Dweller Toward Chemicals and Pesticides," Budget Bureau No. 40-6673, financed by a grant from the Federal Extension Service, United States Department of Agriculture.

The sample considered was comprised of 597 residents of Richmond, Virginia who were interviewed following conduct of the planned informational program, which used television, radio, newspapers, and a publication. Knowledge and attitude scores of people exposed to the program were tested against 12 variables for significant differences. Statistical methods included frequency distribution, percentage, and t test for significance.

Analyses indicated that 140 individuals in the sample (23.45%)had been contacted by mass media. Television had the most contacts; 85 people (14.24%) saw information contained in the planned program. Radio contacted 11 people (1.84%); the newspaper contacted five people (.84%); the publication contacted 16 individuals (2.68%). Of the 48 score comparisons, five showed a significant difference at the 5% level of probability. These were explained as occurring in a chance, non-related pattern.

The conclusion was that the planned communications program was ineffective in increasing knowledge and promoting favorable attitudes toward chemical pesticides in the urban audience for which it was designed.