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Objectives

The current study examines upstream engagement initiatives using the issue of nanotechnology as a case study.

Methods

A series of logistic and OLS regression analyses explore data from a laboratory experiment on information-seeking behavior, knowledge, and willingness to engage with the issue of nanotechnology in the future.

Results

Our results fail to offer evidence of positive relationships between anticipated discussion and learning and the willingness to engage with the issue of nanotechnology in the future. In addition, our results show that anticipated discussion with opposing others actually encourages individuals to seek out an editorial or opinion piece first as opposed to a news item.

Conclusion

Our findings point toward important variations in the kinds of information-seeking behaviors likely to emerge from different conditions under which individuals may be motivated to learn more about emerging science issues, and provide practical insights into which kinds of information-seeking behaviors are most conducive to knowledge gain and issue engagement.