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Global Media Journal
Arabian Edition
Fall/Winter 2010
Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 76

Knowledge acquisition
Mahjoob | 76

Knowledge acquisition from the dissonant media messages:
Comparison between the TV and the Internet
(Experimental study)
Noha Sameer Mahjoob
Assistant Professor in Mass communication Collage, Cairo University
Schema Theory is concerned with the impact of “dissonant information” on the schema of the
individual in terms of their ability to remember and infer information. The term information
dissonance and its measurement methods have been defined differently in different studies.
This difference led to conflicting results, especially with regard to this variable. The current
study stemmed from this point as it was concerned with evaluating the impact of presenting
Consistent media messages compared to the dissonant information on the individual’s
knowledge schema for acquiring knowledge through comparing the two important media
means: TV and the Internet in light of the cognitive background of the subjects. This study
also tested the effects of some of the intermediate variables on the process of cognitive
acquisition. These effects are the credibility of the source of information and the feeling of
having knowledge. It was also concerned with knowing how the mind processes dissonant
information through time that is called “Hypermnesia”. The current study adopted the
experimental method, and was conducted on a sample of 130 subjects from the students of
the Mass Communication College at Cairo University. It also used specific techniques to
measure free recall, recalling by alternatives, inferencing and errors in recalling. It was found
that the rate of knowledge acquisition from the Internet is higher than that from the TV, and
the rate of errors in remembering when exposed to dissonant information increased as the
rate of remembering the correct information decreased. This explains the conflicting results
on this variable in previous studies. The time factor reduced rate of errors in recalling. The
study also showed a positive correlation between the knowledge background variable and
acquisition of knowledge, and it showed a statistically significant relationship between
confidence in the answers and the rate of recalling. Finally, the Internet needs further research
that aims to discover the impact of development as a means to acquire knowledge,
especially among young people.

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